Archive for February, 2011

Annual shameless plug

Once again, Dan talked me into signing up for the CHEO 35K bike ride. We are Team Awesome, and if you are so inclined, you can donate to me individually or to our team.

Photo courtesy of Dan


If you are in the Ottawa area, and make a donation to me of $20 or more,Ā  this year I would also like to offer you a seedling as a thank you for your support. Your choices are basil, pepper (jalapeno or sweet red), or tomatoes (“regular” red, small pear yellow, or small cluster red), all grown from seed by me. I will give you the seedling sometime in late spring, once it’s big and strong enough. You’ll have to provide it with a pot (or garden) to call home, as well as the green thumb to nurse it to harvest through summer. If you are donating and would like a seedling, please let me know before mid-march, as that is when I have to start the seeds according to my schedule.

Tell your family! Tell your friends! (Err.. well, to a point. If by some fluke I end up with more people than shelf space in my new greenhouse, I may have to cut you off… I’m sorry in advance for this highly unlikely event!)

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Finally – pictures!

A week and a half ago, the guys got together and rented the ice at Scotiabank Place to hold a birthday game for Paul. I have (finally) uploaded the pictures.

The sad thing is that I had the editing done by the end of last weekend – all except for resizing, that is. And that’s what held me up for the next week. I spent way more time than necessary researching ways to write Gimp scripts (well, I was also curious) and playing around with some, until finally stumbling on a plug-in that does exactly what I wanted. I don’t know how I feel about going back and re-learning Scheme, but I probably will do it as my experience with editing expands. Now that is one language I’m very surprised to be even considering using outside the classroom! Who knew?!

A bunch of fans showed up, too – although I think we would have needed a few more thousand friends to really make this place sound good.

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I know I joke a lot about the garbagemen using my lilac bush for target practice, but this is what I came home to today.

That’s right, our garbage bin is on TOP of my lilac bush. One of the branches looks broken, but I’m waiting until Dan comes home so he can appreciate the full extent of this …

Also, maybe I should mention that it’s in the middle of the snow-covered lawn, surrounded by about 6 feet of packed knee-height (or more) snow on all sides.

Is our garbageman a failed shotput athlete? Or more of a scottish caber toss kind of guy? I’m soooooooooooooo impressed by your strength… but maybe next time you need to work out some frustration, you can go install a punching bag in your basement instead? I know my poor lilac bush would really appreciate it!

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If you love grapefruit, but don’t eat it as often as you’re like because it’s a pain you’re too lazy to peel it, you might want to sit down – your life is about to change. I’m definitely one of those people who hasn’t been eating as much grapefruit as I’d like because I don’t have the patience for all the prep work. So I’ve been mostly restricting my grapefruit intake to juice form. The funny thing is that every time I’d drink grapefruit juice, Dan would come over, take a sip, make a disgusted face and walk away. (Yes, I guess it takes my husband a while to learn these things).

One time a few months ago, though, I bought a real grapefruit, and when I cut it in half and put into a bowl to eat as dessert, Dan tried a piece and (amazingly) stole the whole thing for himself. His reply to my amazement was something along the lines of “well, it tastes totally different from juice!” From then on, every weekend we’ll share a grapefruit for breakfast – but only because Dan has the patience to stand there and score each grapefruit half so it can easily be eaten. Well, no more! I am now self-sufficient in my grapefruit preparations! Seriously, if you’re been cutting grapefruit “the old-fashioned way” up until now, go read this tutorial. If you’ve been doing it this way already… what kind of a friend are you? Why didn’t you tell me about this before! šŸ™‚

P.S. Grapefruit is definitely one of those words that sounds way better in french than it does in english.

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When out skating a few weeks ago, Anna convinced me that we should go cross-country skiing. Gatineau Park offers a large variety of cross-country skiing trails, both groomed and not. I had known this, of course, but never managed to make it out there in the winter. Well, let me tell you – it’s fantastic! The day was absolutely gorgeous, which helped a lot – a few days after our big snowfall, with highs around 0. Just enough time for trails to have been made, but short enough for the snow to still be pleasant. Let me tell you, though – you really can’t ski downhill in cross-country skis the same way you would on downhill skis! It took me a few tries at ski/hockey stops to realize that I really wasn’t stopping fast with no edge. A few wipe-outs may or may not have been involved…

We took about two and a half hours, half of them filled with frequent stops to adjust layers or take pictures, to do the loop of trails 22 and 34. That was just a tiny little warm-up, compared to what’s available when looking at the map, so I’m really excited to get out more next year.

The skis I had has what the store called “fish scales” instead of a waxable surface, and I can’t say I liked them too much. Trying to skate-ski was extremely difficult (too much resistance), although it made for much smoother progress uphill (and there were LOTS of uphills!). I guess I’ll need to do some research if I’m hoping that Santa will bring me a pair next year. šŸ™‚

Some pictures from the day are below, with the rest in a photo set, as always.

Who could ask for a better day?

I even got to try out my super-fancy waterproof camera bag, Dan’sĀ  christmas present to me. You can see it at my feet.

There weren’t too many views on the trail that we took, but the lack of undergrowth (well, and leaves) meant that you could see pretty far ahead.

In other news – I got my seed delivery today! That means that I really need to get on top of setting up my greenhouse and figuring out what needs to be planted when!

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