It certainly wasn’t my first time. And I really didn’t know if it would stick or not. But I was so ready. I was 41 and I  could hardly breathe anymore.

Ten years ago today,  June 16, 2007 I smoked my last cigarette. I’m pretty sure I’ll never have another one but I still can’t let my guard down. Tomorrow will be day 3654. 


First swim – June 7th 2017


I think this is the latest ‘first swim’ in a long time. Usually I’m in the lake in May. This has been an unusual year. I’m still needing to light a wee fire almost every day to take the chill off. I think we’ve turned the corner on that now. Hopefully.

My garden is planted. Finally.

Bigger than it’s been in the past by about 150 square feet and still I can’t fit everything in. The new crop for this year is corn. I look forward to seeing how I do with that. And I’m already planning on how I can make my garden even bigger next year πŸ™‚ 

And a wee shout out to my long time friend Greg whose life changed in a big way 30 years ago. Happy anniversary bud. What a great impact you’ve had on all of us.

The cycle repeats.

First feed ever!

I harvested the first feed of asparagus that my garden has ever produced. Then I ate it. Soooo good.

May 6, 2017… First asparagus

I’ve checked at least twice a day for the past week. Finally! This is the first year I get to eat it. 

πŸ˜€ Game ON!

Today is also the 4th anniversary of me starting to work at the CRC. Time flies. 

Shrimp Tacos

My chef friend Garth spent about 10 days in Mexico recently at a swanky all inclusive and came back talking about the food. This morning at breakfast he mrntionned the shrimp tacos and it’s all I could think of all day long. I realized mid-morning that I had everything I needed at home to make some non-authentic tacos and my plan was set.

I dressed some shredded cabbage with a limey yogurt mayo mix with a little jalapeno and cumin powder. I marinated some shrimp in pepper, salt and jalapeno. I grilled some corn tortillas in a cast iron grill pan and followed that by cooking the shrimp. For assembly all I added the last of the jar of spice salsa that my friend Jon gave me.

They were sloppy and spicy and good. Likely not nearly as good as what Garth had in Mexico but not bad,  all things considered.

In other news, the record high water levels have started to recede. Thankfully. Many thanks to the folks at MNR and Hydro that managed the flow so well this time. It was pretty cool to see that much water go through the lake but my thoughts are with those who live on lower land.

(Go Joey!)

April snow melts when it hits the ground, LoL

They forecasted another snowmageddon but I really don’t take weather reports to seriously. And, after all, April snow melts as soon as it hits the ground. Last week I was counting the number of garlic plants poking through the straw. To further strengthen my case, I drove home from my knitting group at the Eganville library on Thursday night and it was snow-raining and melting on contact.  Once again, I was right! (As an aside, I’ve joined a knitting group at the library called ‘The Chronicles of Yarnia’ πŸ™‚ )

The first time I got up to pee at 2 the power was out. It was still out when I got up at 430. When I woke up for real it was 530… still no power. Then I got a text from one of my staff who starts at 6 to tell me that the storm had arrived. About 6 inches of heavy wet snow and strong winds. Lots of trees down everywhere. No estimate for a return of electricity amd everything was closing down. With power being out I got my first snow day in the 4 years I’ve been here.  There have been LOTS of snow days for other people but I live a 5 minute walk from work so I always end up going in.

I think I was the only person in a good mood. Great even. I heat with wood and cook on gas. And a few LED flashlights round out my kit. I spent much of the day hanging out at Garth’s as he figured out a way to get his oven to run off his generator so he could be open for pizza day. It was fun. I even got to cook toppings at my place because the generator wouldn’t handle the oven and the stove at the same time.

Power was on for most in town by 1030 pm Friday . I powered back on at 10 am Saturday. Many many people outside of town didn’t get power back until Sunday and there are some that won’t get it until mid week.  Yikes. 

It was a good test-run for me. I learned that I can handle a 48 hour power outage without a worry.  My freezer stayed frozen solid and everything else worked great. I do need to pick up a cone-style drip coffee thing and an extra LED light but other than that, I’m good.  I had once thought about getting a generator but considering my experience this time AND the fact that in a pinch I could run an extension cord to my fridge from my neighbours generator, I think I’m good.

The rest of the weekend was great. I made 2 kinds of strudel dough – still recipe testing, and 2 kinds of cherry strudel – sour and sweet. I made a chocolate cake for my friends 65th birthday tomorrow, a big pot of soup for my board meeting, and I boiled down a bunch of sap.  Lots and lots of Sunday kitchen time. What could be better?!

A big week ahead with a 4 day weekend as the prize. And hopefully no more snow days.

Five minutes old!

It’s lambing season out at Alder Creek Farm and this little girl is 5 minutes old. Sadly I missed the birth of her and her twin as I drove up the laneway but is was a pretty cool experience none-the-less. 

Kim and Gary have a mixed flock, mostly Dorset and  Cheviot with some Romney and a few Shetland. 

The gestation period is a little more than 150 days and today at about day 157, these ladies are ready to pop! Over the past few days there have been about 18 births, more twins than expected, and they are expecting another 25 or so shortly. They have their hands full. 

Kim is in her element out in the barn and I think she’d give up her day job in a heartbeat if our society  figured out how to fairly compensate our farmers, but thats a totally different rant for another day. πŸ™‚ 

It’s hard not to instantly fall in love with these critters. The ones in the picture above are about 5 days old and growing cuter and more lamby every day. Having been a customer of Alder Creek since I moved here 4 years ago, I am completely aware that these animals are being raised to become food, perhaps my food. I’m ok with that. In fact it makes me happy to know that these lambs have a great life living on a farm that I’d like to live on, given the chance, and grazing in a pasture outdoors that’s second to none. They even get to escape from time to time and be mischievous when they find a hole in the fence. Much better than any of that factory farmed meat that is ubiquitous.

I asked if they gave any warning when they were about to give birth and kim said that she knows somethings up if they don’t eat. Apparently nothing puts a ewe off her feed except impending labour. 

It seems these ladies aren’t quite ready to deliver.

These are the Shetland sheep. It never ceases to amaze me what one can find on kijiji! Kim’s still getting to know them so they are off in a different barn. I called dibbs on the wool when they are shorn. Who knows what adventures that might ΔΊead to.

Happy farmers. Happy critters. Happy life.