Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sidney Crosby Is My New Hero

Oh, my goodness....

Canada 3!!!!. USA 2

Sidney Crosby, you must be worth the money!

Crap...Gold Medal Game, 3rd Update

End of the third periodand Canada wins... No, wait. Twenty five seconds to go and the USA scores to tie the game and bring on overtime. Crap, or did I say that already?

Canada 2, USA 2

Gold Medal Game - 2nd Update

It's the end of the 2nd period and I think my team is trying to give me a heart attack!

Canada 2, USA 1

Go, Canada, Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gold Medal Game

1st period intermission - Canada 1, USA 0

Go, Canada, Go!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic Gold and New Desktop

Wondering where the Witch has been? Well, I've been glued to the t.v. every night, from the minute supper is over until I fall asleep or go to bed (not necessarily the same thing). Yeah, I've got Olympic fever, and I've got it bad. Figure skating, luge, bobsled, curling, speed skating even hockey! Men's and women's, are just as good. And they've done great, lots of medals and more to come. I really hope that everyone is enjoying the Olympics, our athletes have worked really hard to get where they are. I'm very proud of them! The woman's bobsled team was awesome. The women's curling team are getting ready to play the Swedish team right now for the gold medal and I'm going to go watch as soon as I finish this post.

Foxy Roxy is on my desktop this week.

I have updated my sidebars with a few new blogger friends that I hope you will enjoy visiting. Oh, and my desktop picture this week is Foxy Roxy. Bye for now. Remember, "Go, Canada, Go!".

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Some thoughts For Saturday

I'm having a lazy Saturday and I'm really enjoying the downtime. I'm using the time to look around at a few new blog sites. Boy, there are some talented people out there in the blogsphere. Sometime soon I'm going to update my side bars to show some new sites, maybe later this week.

I got up nice and early this morning so I did some laundry and then we ran into the little city to visit my Granny and do some shopping. Of course, we went to the farmer's market and bought some salmon for supper tonight. I think that it will be great with some oven-fries and a light salad. I even had time to bake an apple pie for dessert. Easy.

Tomorrow we're going to make a nice beef stew and while the oven is on I will also bake some beans. This kind of comfort food is low effort and will last for a couple of days next week. That'll give us the time to watch some of the Olympics and, yeah, I guess maybe do a little housekeeping, too. It's only Saturday afternoon and I can already see the start of the workweek looming. Why is it the weekends always seem to go so fast?

I've added a joke that I read on "That British Woman"'s blog site. I laughed so hard that I was smiling most of the day over it. Thanks, Gill.

A man was driving along the highway, and saw a rabbit hoping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid hitting the rabbit, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of the car and was hit. The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road and got out to see what had become of the rabbit.
Much to his dismay, the rabbit was dead. The driver felt so awful be began to cry.
A woman driving down the highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the man what was wrong.
"I feel terrible," he explained. "I accidentally hit this rabbit and killed it."
The woman told the man not to worry. She knew what to do. She went to her car trunk and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the limp, dead rabbit, and sprayed the contents of the can onto the rabbit.
Miraculously, the rabbit came to life, jumped up, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped down the road. Fifty feet away the rabbit stopped, turned around, waved at the two again, hopped down the road another 50 feet, turned, waved, and hoped another 50 feet.
The man was astonished. He couldn't figure out what substance could be in the woman's spray can! He ran over to the woman and demanded, "What was your spray can? What did you spray onto that rabbit?"
The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label. It said: "Hare Spray Restores Life to Dead Hare. Adds Permanent Wave."

Every time I read it it makes me smile. Enjoy the apple pie pictures.

Here I'm using my favourite rolling pin, her name is Mrs. Godkin, to roll out the dough.

Prepping the apples, the most tedious part of the process.

The filling is in place, I hope I put in enough butter.

All ready for the oven, including the decoration.

Ready to eat. Okay, now I'm glad I did all those apples.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What picture is on your desk top this month?

I'm thinking of doing a monthly post that shows what's on my computer's desktop screen. I'm one of those people who love to change it around, sometimes weekly or monthly, but never for long. So I'm going to do a short post every once in awhile to share with you all some great pictures that we have taken (and others that I have borrowed).

To start this off, and in honor of the Olympics, this is what's on my desktop, now. It was taken from the CBC web site weekly pictures and I just love it. The lynx was actually photographed going across the men's down hill skiing site. His sights were on GOLD!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fondue Night

As you can see from the pictures fondue night was awesome. The meat was so tender it just melted in our mouths. That’s not always the case with this meal. We have had some fondues where the meat came out of the broth very tough and chewy. Last night’s was great whether we cooked it for a short time or a long time. This is probably because of the way it was processed. The butcher is also the farmer who raised the cattle. He actually hangs the meat for 21 days in his cooler and then does the cutting himself. This is the way butchers used to do things but it’s not the way they do it at today’s grocery stores. It’s just one more reason to make the trip to the Farmer’s Market.

The ingredients are all cut and arranged.

We first had this meal at a restaurant in Montreal years and years ago. They called it a Chinese fondue for whatever reason. The meat was sliced into very thin pieces and was brought to the table on a platter. The cooking medium was beef broth and was served with a variety of dipping sauces and bread. It made a big impression with us. Later, at home in Toronto, we found an Austrian restaurant called the Graf Bobby that also offered the same meal. We must have gone there a hundred times and we always had the same thing. It became quite a tradition for us; they even kept our favourite table reserved for us on Friday nights. Unfortunately, the Graf Bobby went out of business so we had to learn how to make fondue for ourselves. It turns out to be surprisingly easy to do.

A nice assortment of dipping sauces for the meat and veggies.

We make all the sauces ourselves. We start with a mix of plain yogurt and sour cream as the base then we add our own blend of spices. Hubby loves the curry sauce so I usually make two. I love the onion sauce. It’s made with a bit of onion soup mix. We tried two new dips this time. We used the chipotle chili spice and the hot paprika we wrote about a couple of weeks ago to make them and they turned out great. They are definitely keepers. If you are going try this yourself make the dips a couple of hours ahead of meal time to let the flavor spread into the base.
The veggies are great cooked this way, too. They always add an extra welcome to the broth in the pot. We use the broth a day or two later over some ramen noodles for a quick dinner. We always put out a selection of different cheeses, too. A couple of different breads just make this meal perfect.

The broth is hot so I guess the fondue is ready to go.

Okay, just one more picture and then we can eat.

Every good meal should come with some fine wine.

Hubby got a very nice surprise for Valentine’s Day this morning. This is the second year I have made these cookies for him. They’re fun to make and are delicious, too. I think he was pretty happy to get them. I think the Snowman is also happy. Hubby made me a great breakfast this morning and now I'm stuffed. I also got a beautiful card and the wine we had with dinner last night was also my Valentine’s gift. I didn't want any flowers this year.

I think the snowman is hoping those cookies really are for him.

Hubby's cookies

Oh, and I just had to include one more picture. I purchased this beautiful poinsettia tree after Christmas for $5.00 and the colour is such a bright red that I call it my Valentine's tree.

Valentine Tree

Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Shopping in the Little City

Wow, what did you think of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games? I thought they were short and sweet and of course, our athletes were the best dressed. Brian Adams and Nellie Fertado sang well together. It was awfully late though. By the time we went to bed I was so beat that I slept in really late this morning.

We went to the farmers market in the little city just before lunch. We bought a nice looking eye-of-round roast for our fondue tonight. The only one that was on display was three times what we needed so we asked if the butcher would cut off a portion for us. He said he would but if we took the whole thing he would reduce the price by $4. I guess that he really didn’t want to take it home with him. It was a great deal for us, too. We just cut the roast into three portions when we got home and we’re set for another two fondues. While we were there we also bought some bacon, haddock filets, lobster meat and eggs. We are planning to make seafood chowder for our Valentine’s Day supper so we’ll be using most of this tomorrow. Mmm… seafood chowder.

Next up was a trip to the grocery store where we bought the rest of our supplies for the week. This was a much better experience than in the big city last week. The store was almost empty and we found an open cashier when we were ready to check out. Hubby actually made it out of the store in a good humour.

Our regular groceries for this week.

We found some good deals on produce. We got 4 red peppers and 4 green peppers for $5 so I guess we will be having some stir fries this week. Maybe some quesadillas again, they’re always great. The grapes and the bananas were also on sale. We won’t have to shop now for another week because I have lots of meat in the freezer and there will be leftovers from fondue tonight. The total damage for groceries at the store was $60.04 and $35.25 at the farmer’s market

Our Farmer's Market goodies for this week. Doesn't that roast look fantastic?

Stay tuned for some pictures of our fondue. I’m going to go get it ready now and then watch some of the Olympics.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2010 Olympics

In just two days Canada is playing host to the greatest sporting event in the world! Yes, even bigger than the Superbowl. You will be able to cheer on our athletes in lots of exciting sports at lots of exciting new venues. I wish that I had a favourite sport to report about but, really, I love them all. I can hardly wait for the opening ceremonies this Friday to see Clara Hughes carry the Canadian flag into the stadium.

We were in BC 5 years ago on a holiday with my father and my sister. I had won a trip from work to anywhere in the country that Air Canada flies and it just so happened that they were going to go out west that year. We tagged along at next to no cost to us and we had a fantastic time. While we were in British Columbia they were gearing up for the Olympics, expanding highways and building hotels and venues. It seemed like it was so far in the future then, but I guess that they really needed the time to get it done. My father was so excited by all this and he was even talking about going back to Vancouver to volunteer. Unfortunately, he passed away two years later so he will not be able to take part. His enthusiasm is still with me though and I'm looking forward to watching these games because of him.

The last time the Olmpics were in Canada I was fortunate enough to be selected to be one of the torch bearers on its trip across the country. I was really into figure skating then. Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Tracy Wilson, Rob McCall and Elizabeth Manning were the big Canadian stars at the time and we were all expecting big things from them at the games. They didn't disappoint either, coming through with a pair of silver medals, a bronze and an eighth place for Browning. It was a great set of games and I was proud to have been a participant, if merely at the volunteer stage. My name even made it into the book they published about the torch run, you can see it there if you know where to look.

By the way, I have decided that I'm not going to enter the "Biggest Loser" challenge at work. I may have mentioned that they were going to run the contest as a fund-raiser and I was thinking that it would be great motivation to get back into my "skinny" jeans for the summer. Then I tried on the jacket that I wore 22 years ago for the torch run and I decided that maybe I was okay after all. Best not to upset the others who have entered by saying that I need to lose 10 pounds.

Me, in my Torch Run Jacket

Watch the games, folks. Go Canada, Go!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Banana Spiders Remind Me Of Summer

We were reviewing some of our old pictures on the computer the other day because we are having a contest at work. The company has just finished renovating their customer hospitality suite and they realized that the walls seemed somewhat bare and bleak. Since a lot of their clients arrive from outside of the country without any idea of just how beautiful this area can be it was decided that it would be fun to ask the staff to submit their photos to decorate the walls. There is a prize of $100 for each of four pictures selected but it will be great just to have one of ours picked to be representative of our community to the world!

Anyway, spiders and summer, yeah, back to that. A couple of years ago we were touring around Atlantic Canada, doing the Bed and Breakfast thing for the first time. It was an absolutely perfect vacation with amazing sights, great accommodations and food and it was lots of fun. It was fantastic and just about the best time we have ever had on holiday. In fact, it was only bettered by the trip we took to the west coast with my father and my sister several years ago.

When we got home from the B&B trip one of the first things we did was check the vegetable garen to see how it made out while we were away. We were only gone five days but that can be a long time for a garden to go without watering. It turned out that everything survived just fine without us, including the pumpkins. It was while we were checking out the pumpkin patch that we first ran into the little bugger you see above.

That, dear readers, is the "Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Writing Spider, Banana Spider or Corn Spider" according to Wikipedia. The females, like the ones pictured here, can range from 19 to 28 mm in length and, in my opinion, are very beautiful. Harmless too, apparently. Her web is "a circular shape up to 2 feet in diameter, with a dense zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, in the center". This is almost as distinctive as the spider, herself.

Now, whenever I see one of these in the yard or even one of these pictures I am transported back to the summer of '07, Wolfville, Yarmouth, Halifax and Mahone Bay. It's funny how memory works but for me the Banana Spider equals summer in the Maritimes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Superbowl Sunday

Just to give you all a heads up on the two teams that will be battling it out on Sunday. It's the New Orleans Saints vs. the Indianapolis Colts. I'm going with the Colts since my team (the Oakland Raiders) didn't do very well during the regular season. Even the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers are out. These are my fall back teams. It's going to be hard to cheer for another team but you just can't watch the big game without rooting for one side or the other.

Anyway, I'm sure the game will be great, and if not, the halftime show is always interesting and yes, even the commercials can be hilarious. At $100,000 per SECOND they had better be!

So if you have never watched an NFL football game why not try it this Sunday. It's a good excuse to eat lots of chips and dip. And oh yeah, that's what I will be doing. Ok, maybe I might put out a few carrot sticks to nibble on, too (only if there is chip dip left over!). The Witch is bad, very bad.

Happy Superbowl Sunday, everyone.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Grocery Shopping For The Week

We had our first big snow storm for the season last week. That is pretty amazing when I think about it. By this time last year we had had snow on the ground for almost three months!

On Friday some stores closed early in the day due to the weather, which made Saturday's grocery shopping an awful chore. The store was so busy that there were no shopping buggies to be had. People were actually lining up to wait for the cart wranglers to bring some in from the parking lot. Hubby cut to the chase and just went out and got his own. The check out lines were crazy, every cashier had at least ten people waiting. Never again will I be shopping on a Saturday after a storm.

I wonder what it all would have cost if we had paid full price for this all.

I did get some good deals because they were having a B.O.G.O. event (you know, Buy One, Get One) which may have also contributed to the crowds. Anyway I'm all stocked-up for now. The cost for our little adventure was $114.27 and you can see for yourself what that gets you here on The Witch's Island.

This stuff didn't make it into the first shot but it was included in the $114

I thought I would share a few pictures with you of Hubby blowing out the driveway. He had to do it three times over two days, poor fella. He didn't mind, though. Any reason to play with the power tools is a good one.

Hubby is glad he doesn't have to shovel out by hand anymore.

Power tools, don't you just love'em?