Thursday, 25 October 2012

End of the outdoor farmers markets ...

With the ending of fall comes the end of outdoor farmers markets for the year.  I'd quite gotten used to having these markets so readily available.  Every Wednesday evening, I made sure to make it home in time to wander down to the Hillhurst-Sunnyside market to stock up on fruit and vegetables, as well as the occasional jar of jam, loaf of bread or pre-prepared meal.  And, I loved the occasional trip to Millarville to enjoy their Saturday morning market, complete with live music and cowboys.  On our last trip to the Millarville market, I was sure to stock up on my new favourite meat, elk, to freeze for the winter time. 

One of the stalls at our local market at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside community centre
 
I'll miss the outdoor farmers markets because the year-round indoor markets are nowhere near as conveniently located and don't quite have the same community feel as the outdoor markets.  I am, however, greatly looking forward to the outdoor Millarville Christmas market which takes place in a few weeks and I was also pleased to see that there will be a monthly indoor market at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside community centre.

Discussing the ins and outs of elk meat at the Millarville market

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Snow dog!

Abbey just loves the snow.  She loves to run around in it, sticking her nose in and spraying the snow up into the air.  Whilst it's fun for all in the snow, Abbey hates to be bathed when she finally comes inside.  But unfortunately, it's a necessity as she comes in covered in huge clumps of ice and snow which only seem to come off with a spray of warm water.

video


A snowy Abbey waits to go inside

Warm and dry next to the heating duct

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

It's getting a little chilly ...


 The leaves have all fallen which suggests that perhaps 'fall' is over.  There is snow on the ground and I'm getting ready to settle into the long cold Canadian winter.  I'm starting to learn a little more about how to cope with the cold weather and I had a funny experience last week as I was leaving for work early one morning.  The windshield had quite a layer of ice on it, so I diligently turned on the engine, got the ice-scraper out of the car and set to work to clear a patch so I could see where I was driving.  After a few minutes of hard work and not having a lot of patience, I decided to simply do what I used to do on frosty mornings in Tasmania - squirt some water on the windshield to melt the ice and off I go.  Little did I realise that the water I was using to melt the ice would simply freeze again, which meant I still couldn't see out.  If anything, it made the problem worse since the patch I had scraped was now covered in ice.  Again, lacking in patience, I decided to simply keep squirting water until the heating had kicked in and melted the windshield clear.  Lesson learned - get up a few minutes earlier to properly scrape the ice off the windshield ... or buy one of those devices that starts the car from inside the house.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Assignment is done ...

My last Masters assignment for the year is finally finished!  It's been an incredibly tough month or so as I worked during the week and wrote my paper on the weekends.  I feel like I've barely had a life outside of work and study and so now, I'm looking forward to reclaiming my weekends!  C was away this weekend which meant that I had a very quiet weekend filled with some much needed rest and relaxation, mainly consisting of this ...

Snuggling with Abbey, reading a novel by a favourite author and drinking jasmine tea

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A belated Thanksgiving post ...

Healthy pumpkin pie

Two weekends ago, we had a long weekend to celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving (which falls on a different date to the American celebration, since the harvest for which we thank comes at a later date in the USA).  We planned for a lovely weekend of feasting and relaxing with C's family who were visiting from Victoria, BC.  We shopped at the Millarville market for our feast supplies on the Saturday and began to prepare them on the Sunday, ready for that evening's feast.  I roasted my first ever turkey (first ever roast of any kind of meat actually!) and made my first ever pumpkin pie, despite the fact that I (and some members of C's family) don't even really like pumpkin pie.  But, I was determined to make a traditional meal, even if my pie wasn't really a traditional pie, but rather another recipe from (you guessed it ...) The Healthy Chef.  You can find the recipe here.  But, a relaxing evening it wasn't to be as C's dad fell down the stairs, broke his ankle and needed to be carted off to emergency.  So, our evening of feasting turned into a microwaved meal put together at 10pm when C and his mum returned from the hospital where his dad was to stay for a few days awaiting surgery on his ankle.  He's doing well now and there is always next year when we can celebrate thanksgiving in the way we intended!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

It's been a while ...

Wow.  I don't think I've blogged this inconsistently since I began blogging in 2008.  Except perhaps when the Great Firewall of China locked down the Blogger platform.  It has been a crazy few weeks.  Between work, my Masters assignment and an unexpected family incident (C's family, not mine, but more on that later), there simply has not been time to sit down and write.  But, I'm back now and I have a few posts swimming around in my brain and tomorrow, I'll sit down and hammer them out ready to share with you throughout the week.  I have, however, had time to do some baking ... I find it very relaxing (to bake and eat).  My favourite treats for the past non-blogging weeks have been jam drops, which remind me of my childhood, and The Healthy Chef's banana oatmeal biscuits ...

Jam drops - raspberry and apricot

Banana oatmeal biscuits

Sunday, 7 October 2012

More dog walking pictures ...

Abbey has been out of action this week thanks to her spaying operation last Thursday.  Vet's orders were 'short leashed walks only' so no vigorous play time at the off leash park for Abbey this week.  I'm sure she can't wait to get back to joining her fellow hounds at All Paws In ...



(photos courtesy of Ryan at All Paws In)

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Healthy Chef's apple cake ...

A friend recently gave us a huge bag of apples from their tree so I've been busy eating them up and trying some new recipes with them.  I love Teresa Cutter's (aka The Healthy Chef) recipes as they are all super tasty and very healthy for you.  I hunted around on her website until I came across the recipe for this beauty ...


It's a flourless apple cake basically made from apples, almond meal and walnuts with some other healthy stuff to bind it together.  You can find the recipe here.  Despite following instructions (which I rarely do) to leave the cake in the tin in the fridge overnight to prevent it from being too crumbly, it was too crumbly.  Which was perfectly fine, it just meant that we ate it as a dessert like this ...


It also made a great afternoon snack at work with the perfect level of sweetness and goodness to get me through the afternoon.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

World's largest QR code ...

At school, we've been getting excited about the possibility of using QR codes with the students and their iPads.  I'm still figuring out what they actually are and how they actually work but in the meantime, I found this picture of (apparently) the world's largest QR code, here in Alberta ...

Photo credit - Kraay Family Farm

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Remember to breathe ...

This is the province I live in ...


... who wants to come and visit?

Monday, 1 October 2012

YYComedy ...

Photo credit - Visit Calgary

On Saturday night, C and I strolled up the hill to the Jubilee auditorium for the YYComedy Gala.  This is the first year of the YYComedy Festival (YYC being Calgary's airport code) and it's been on all week, with events all across town.  At the gala, we saw about eight performers, some very funny and others that barely raised a laugh out of me but that's to be expected with such a diverse set of performers and audience.  The stand out funnies for me were Gavin CrawfordTrent McClellan and Graham Clark.  The festival has apparently been a success because it will be back on next year which is fantastic.  I hope that we can make it to a few more events in 2013!