Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Attack of the Porcupine

Disclaimer: I know my photos are nothing spectacular, but these are even worse. I forgot my camera and was forced to use the ole iPhone. My apologies.

The Canadian comes from a close knit group of boys. They have all been friends since first grade (pronounced Grade One in Canada). The stories they tell and the mischief they caused is the stuff legends are made of. To this day they are all very close. 

They have each others back. 
Come hell or high water. 
Come rain or come shine. 

Jackson is one of those boys. Jackson is a man's man. He's tough as nails and sweet as pie. He has a roommate and they have two dogs; Mook, the husky, and Wylie, the black lab. Wylie gives labs a good name. She is the kind of dog that makes people want to go out and get their very own black lab.

But, every now and then she finds herself in a pickle. Mook, well, Mook finds himself in a pickle almost everyday. He's another story for another time...

Anyway, the Canadian and I were sitting around not doing much of anything when the phone rang. It was Jackson wanting to know if The Canadian could come over and give him a hand while he pulled porcupine quills out of Wylie's mouth. Is this normal around here? Unfazed, The Canadian told him that he'd be right over. I invited myself along for moral support. Besides, I've never seen a dog that has been in a scuffle with a porcupine. No way was I missing this fun adventure. Although, secretly, in my crazy brain I was playing out all the horrible things that could happen - getting mauled, being bitten, sliding on black ice...the list goes on.

But, alas, none of these things happened. 

When we got there Wylie had her head and tail down. Mook was being himself. He's quite the singer and demands your attention.

During college (Canadian translation: University), I worked at a vet's office. We didn't use rusty tools at the vet, but since it was late and Jackson lives on the outskirts of town (hence the porcupine) you make do with whatcha got. These tools did the trick, too.

 He had already removed these quills from Wylie's paws and face. The ones we needed to get out were in her gums and tongue.

Porcupine quills are no laughing matter. The ends are covered in teeny-tiny barbs that hold the quill in there nice and tight.

Quills also break easily. When you pull them out you have to be careful not to snap them or else the bottom of the quill will sink deep into the tissue and wreak havoc.

You have to pull them out nice and slooooooow.

Wylie was being a trooper. She didn't bite. She cried a little, but for the most part she was good. She knew we were helping her. PS. I use the term 'we' very loosely.

She just didn't want to hold her tongue still so the boys could get the last quill out. It was way in the back and hard to reach.

Meanwhile, Mook kept right on singing. I think it was his way of offering support and sympathy. After all, he has had two run-ins with porcupines. Both of which resulted in surgical removal because he wouldn't hold still. It's how Mook rolls.

Finally, Wylie was back on her feet and wagging her tail. Quill free!

I wish I had a photo of all the quills at the end, but I forgot. Look at the photo above and double it. That should be about right.

Oh yeah, this is how cold it was last night. I'm not sure what the Fahrenheit conversion is, but its damn cold.

Case of the Disappearing Soap - Part II

I checked this afternoon, the soap was still intact. It had survived another morning shower. No paw prints either, always a good sign.

No one took a shower this afternoon so there was no water to lick off the tub. I didn't even think about it as The Canadian and I ran out the door to go help our friend, Jackson, when he called about a porcupine vs. dog incident (more later).


When we got back from the rescue mission I went to take a shower because I was still gross from the gym. As I turned the shower on I found this...on the floor. The underside is covered in black hair.

Its disgusting.

You'd think with all the chewing of soap her breath would smell better. But still, it smells like fish.

Monday, November 29, 2010


These are NOT pretty. Don't show my mother.

I have no words...this is embarrassing.

It has it's own fault line.

Ah, much better. Making progress.

It only took 8,249 attempts to make non-embarrassing, decent looking peanut butter cookies.

Why didn't the recipe just tell me to roll them into a ball? Is that too much to ask?

My thighs can't handle this.

Excuse me, where is the nearest treadmill?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Case of the Disappearing Soap

I found this in the shower yesterday. What is it, you ask? It's soap. Or, what is left of the soap.

What could have possibly caused the soap to look like this? Did The Canadian do this?

Are those teeth marks? Are those claw marks? Hmmmm.....

Only one thing in my house could have cause this....

I bet she wears a black fur coat.

The soap has been disappearing for weeks now. About twice a week I will get into the shower just to immediately get out in search of soap. It vanishes.

But this scratched up mess is something new. My best guess is that Maple went in the shower for her daily lick-the-tub jaunt and found the soap was stuck. Undeterred, she did her best to dislodge the soap...and then gave up.

I know it was her - I would know those paw prints anywhere!

So, in addition to replacing the soap several times a week I also get to scrub the tub.

Anyone want a black lab/monster?

P.S I know licking the tub is bizarre. She's been doing it ever since she was tall enough to jump in...and I have NO idea how to stop it. Ideas? 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Soccer Baseball

The Canadian and I have a saying: It's not wrong, its just different.

We say this a lot, mainly when it comes to cultural differences between American and Canadian.

Case and point:

Last night we went out, with our dear friends Carla and Tyler, to watch some friends who were playing at a local bar. Carla and I were talking about different activities I could get involved with around town. We discussed normal activities like bowling leagues and some strictly Canadian endeavorers like curling. Then I took it one step too far and told her I wished there were kickball leagues in town.

And do you know what she said?

Carla said, "What's kickball?"

Huh? What's kickball? I mean, its only the sport that every American kid grew up playing in their cul-de-sac. It's the sport played in every elementary and middle school gym across the nation. Is it possible that the great game of kickball has eluded our neighbors to the north? How can this be?

So, I explained that kickball is similar to baseball but is played with a rubber ball that is kicked.

I saw the lightbulb come on in her head and she said, "Oh, you mean soccer baseball."


Soccer Baseball. Not wrong, just different.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cupcake and It's Frosting

I thought I'd make some cupcakes. No real reason why. I kind of had a sweet tooth. I just felt like it.

Plus, I wanted to test out some fun little gadgets I got from my Grandpa but have never tried.

The fun little gadgets are frosting tips. My grandpa taught me how to use them when I was little, but as you can tell, I've forgotten. Clearly.

But go ahead and be impressed. I made the frosting. From scratch.

It's how I roll. 

I forced The Canadian (my husband) into trying a different tip and frosting some cupcakes.

Then I swore I would never tell his friends how I forced him (he volunteered) to spend his evening icing cupcakes.

He did a pretty good job, right? I was impressed.

Check out all the different tips. I don't even know where to begin...

I have no idea what shape you're supposed to use for what kind of...I don't even know...

This is going to take some practice.

I don't think there are enough hours at the gym to save me.

I thought I was being all creative and domestic-goddess-like by using food coloring to dye the frosting.

But my random squiggle decorating skills combined with the orangish pink color just made it look like a G.I. tract. Isn't that appetizing?

It's like your own personal anatomy lesson!

The Canadian is very proud of his pot rack and all the utensils that hang from it. I swear, I trust his handy skills...but I can't help but stay out from under it when I'm baking.

I just don't understand how it stays up there.

Oh, little pot rack, please don't fall on my head.


I know that this is a day early, but I'm pretty sure you can give thanks all year long.

This year I am thankful for...

Wonderful parents
A working car
Love from Maple
An insane sister
3 pregnant friends
The introduction to real snow
Good wine
My parka and mitts
Hot Tim Hortons coffee, daily!
Living in the kind of town with Christmas Craft Fairs
The market on Saturday mornings
Dog walks with a whole pack of dogs
My camera
Camp and the whole camp family
My laptop
Finally having an iPhone
Fabulous friends
The paint store
A beautiful wedding
Snow Villages from my Grandpa
Cheap plane tickets to Atlanta
A warm bed
My curly-headed, amazing, supportive, patient husband

Maple is thankful for her tennis ball.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Conversation With My Sister

This is my little sister. Doesn't she look all calm and serene here? 

Don't be fooled.

This is how the conversation went:

I'm gonna tell you something.


You can't tell anyone.

Why not?


Not even Dominick?


Not even people that don't know you?


I'm not sure I can handle that kind of responsibility.

Are you serious?

OK, let me mentally prepare myself.

Are you done?

Yup. What's the secret?

Are you sure you can keep your mouth shut?

I think so. No, I'm sure. 

I have a blog.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHAAAAAA! Hhahahahhaha...Are you kidding me?

Shut up.

Oh my god, I am so embarrassed for you! hahahahahhahaha.

Nevermind. Geez.

Why? What's the point of having a blog if no one reads it? Why can't I tell anyone?


Hahahahha...oh my god, what if it's bad? I'm so embarrassed for you.

Do you want to read it or what?


Stop laughing!

I embarrass easily...Oh my god, I'm so embarrassed.
OK, what's the website?

It's www.

Stop, I can't handle it right now. What if it's bad? I'm so embarrassed. 

You really don't want to know the website?



I can't handle it. I'm scared of what comes after the last w.


So, I think my dog is possessed.

I can't believe you don't want to read my blog.

You should see what Tyler was for Halloween.

I can't believe you won't read my blog.

He was Forrest Gump after he ran for three years.

You're the only one I was brave enough to tell.

Did you know that mom and dad are going to the beach this weekend?

I can't believe you're scared of my blog.

Mom bought our Christmas presents yesterday.

You can tell me if its bad. I'm okay with that since no one else is going to see it.

I don't know what she got us. I didn't ask.

Fine. You're boring.



This is an accurate shot of her personality. Loud, fun, slightly obnoxious, hilarious.

She was so proud of her pink ski pants when we went to Colorado last winter. She wanted us to be able to find her on the if there was any chance of us losing her. 

We're not that lucky. Kidding! Sort of. 

She Ate the Carcass.

Maple is one of my monster dogs. She's, what I like to call, a "neighborhood" black lab. AKA she has no papers. She is definitely not a fancy purebred. She was an accident of two neighborhood labs down in Georgia. The lovely owner gave the puppies away and the rest is history.

She is great company. When you talk to her she cocks her head from side to side so you really know she is listening. Granted, the expression on her face will lead to you think that she is the most confused dog on the planet but at least she's trying. She may try to listen but it's very obvious that she is actually looking at you thinking, "I don't have a clue what you're talking about, lady."

While I spent two days in the kitchen getting everything ready she did her absolute best to lay right where I needed to stand. Isn't she helpful? And then when my husband hauled off the turkey carcass,in a trash bag, she ate it. True story. We didn't even know she was outside. For an hour. How did this happen? 

I'm talking bones and everything! Unbelievable.

So, here's the run down of everything we ate and all the wonderful people that came over to make me feel at home.

Everybody knows that the South survives on one main drink of choice. Sweet Tea. We pride ourselves on it. It's important. Part of daily life. It makes everything better.

Over the past few years even the liquor companies have gotten on board the sweet tea train. A little company down in South Carolina changed the world forever when they started making Sweet Tea Vodka. Understand, it's not a liqueur. It's vodka, straight vodka, but tea flavored. Guess what? You can't get that here in Canada. Nope. Not happening. In fact, the liquor store people looked at me like I had eight heads when I asked if they carried it.

So, fine! I'll make my own. After all, what southern party doesn't have sweet tea?

Simple. I took some Absolut Vodka, dumped it in a mason jar and through in some tea bags. Twenty minutes later...viola! Sweet Tea Vodka! Stir in some sugar and we're good to go.

I got bored of this. Plus, I couldn't tell if it was really working. It's not easy to sample. I ended up making horrible facial expressions. So, I just whipped up three liters of sweet tea, added two liters of lemonade and poured in a big bottle of vodka. Done.

That's what it looked like at the end of the night. I think they liked it.

We served the cocktail in these fun little glasses with chalkboard on them. See, fun?! You can write your name on it so you know which one is yours! Much classier than the ole dixie cup and sharpie method.

Sweet potato pie:

I baked a ton of sweet potatoes, yanked off the skin and mashed them up. Easy. Who knew?

After I added enough brown sugar and butter to kill a small army, we had delicious sweet potato pie like they've never had here in Canada. I made a triple batch, just to be on the safe side.

We had green bean casserole too!

I couldn't believe how easy it is to cook!

That's five pounds of potatoes right there...half the batch. Do you know how long it takes to peel potatoes? It's a thankless job.


We whipped those suckers up! Thank you grandpa for leaving me your amazing KitchenAide mixer. It changed my life. Thank you mom for telling me to use evaporated milk instead of plain ole milk. And, oh the butter! Delicious.

Except, it needed Krazy Salt. But, alas, that's not to be found in Canadian grocery stores.

We had tons of rolls from the famous Nanna's Bakery. Yum.

My wonderful mother-in-law (MIL) made enough stuffing to feed a small country.



Hey Christina! Nice apron! I made her wear it. She did. She embraced it. 

We didn't take our aprons off all night. 

Oh yeah, the turkey!



Dear Lord, my MIL and FIL are good people. Bless their hearts.

I couldn't do it. It was just, slimy. And it had wings!

The former vegetarian in me cannot handle this.

Thankfully, we had this to keep me calm. That is a box of 7 liters of homemade wine. Thank you, FIL!

Then the turkey juice was strained. Gross.


To make this. Delicious. I eat it by the boat. Don't judge.

Don't forget about the olive tray! My mom serves this tray every year. I figured it was normal, part of every Thanksgiving table across the world. It's not. 

When I got married I told my mom I wanted to register for an olive plate. She looked at me with an expression that said Huh? Apparently an "olive plate" isn't commonplace. Not to worry, Dottie to the rescue! My mom's BFF, Dottie, took a look at my mom's sacred "olive plate" and scoured antique stores high and low until she found my very own olive plate. I Love that woman.

Speaking of Dottie...

She made me this apron. Notice the bottom. All flirty and fun. She's talented I tell you! 

That's right, I wore my apron all night. It makes me feel like a domestic goddess. What's the old saying? Fake it 'til you make it. That's my theory.

And the cranberry sauce. Who cares if no one eats it? It is a must. This was actually pretty good. Nothin' but a bag of cranberries boiled in a bottle of pomegranate juice with a cup of sugar mixed in. Heaven.

Told you. She's always all up in my business.

That's right. I made pies. I made 5 pies to be exact.

I only meant to make four pies. Oopps. They all were eaten so it's ok. 

And can you believe it? People prefer pecan pie to pumpkin pie.



There is that sweet tea cocktail again. I'm telling you, they loved it.

But, as I was congratulating myself on making a good drink Craig told me in no uncertain terms, "It could be just plain vodka and we would still drink it."
Thanks, Craig.

The table was like a rainbow. So I have a thing for mismatched wine glasses...Don't judge.

Again, it helps you know which is yours. 

Plus, when one breaks it just isn't a big deal. 

And it gives me something to collect.

Dinner is served! 
Silence...crickets chirping....

I think that's considered a good thing at a dinner party. 

In true Maritime fashion, part of the party moved to the kitchen. Which was still a hot mess. 

It took days to clean. 

It's still not clean.

Tyler must be telling some witty joke.

Hey y'all!

And Julie's off on a tangent...

My favorite couple! Thanks for your help tonight!!

My favorite newly-weds! Thanks for lending us a chair!

The Brothers Davis. 

Nice hat. Where'd you get it? Oh yeah, thanks for lending us six chairs. 

Sorry you still have nowhere to sit. I'll return them as soon as it stops snowing...

I bet Tyler is telling another joke.

This is what happens when you eat the entire turkey carcass. You miss the party.

See? Still wearing her apron. And it's like 2am at this point.

A little late night pie action.

In her defense, she skipped dessert because she was (angel's singing) loading the dishwasher.


Hey! Still in the kitchen...

Thanks for coming!

Y'all come back now, ya hear?!