Monday, March 31, 2008

Reflections


More than four years ago I would have never imagined that I'd be living on an island. I didn't know I'd be living in the countryside! A lot of things can change in the span of a few years.

For example:
I didn't know that this is what I would see when I step outside of our house.

I didn't expect to be married to such a hardworking, smart, fun, funny, all around great guy. Of course, a girl always hopes and wishes to find such a person, but Hubby surpassed all my hopes and expectations :)
I didn't think I'd see the day that my mom would take a walk (a real walk...not the kind you do in the shopping malls!) with me. She was so intrigued to see how we make maple syrup. I never imagined we'd be making our own maple syrup!

Hubby calls this the "holy" tree. Get it?
I didn't realize how happy my pooch would be living in the country. Having him in my Toronto apartment really wasn't fair to him. Now he enjoys running all over the property.
I didn't realize my father could walk on water. The lake was frozen, but it still freaked me out. One of my biggest fears would be to drown in icy cold water. Don't ask. I have no idea why that's one of my biggest fears. It's not like I make a habit of walking on frozen lakes.
A bunch of us went ice fishing on the weekend. We tried to make the best of the last weekend that we could do this. This was my first time out on the lake. I am not ashamed to admit that I'm a big chicken. Every time I heard the ice crack or shift, I'd get really nervous. The sounds the ice and water made just made me cringe.
This stinkin' hole took us TWO HOURS to drill with the ice auger. There were four of us at the time and we took turns drilling. The following three holes took less than five minutes each to drill!

More than four years ago, I didn't know I'd be the type of person who made and grew most of her food. I didn't know I'd be the girl who bought her baked goods and local honey at the farmers' markets. I also didn't know I'd be the type of person who grew produce during the summer and after harvesting, would freeze them for winter use. I actually bought a few loaves of this olive bread at the farmers' market and kept them in the freezer. I had company on the weekend, so I thawed a loaf, sliced it up and put it in the oven. YUM!
I didn't realize the soft afternoon sunlight filtering through the cracks of a barn would be one of the most beautiful sights imaginable.
I didn't think that scenes like these would forever be etched in my heart. There's something so special about seeing Dad and Chance walking into the sunset and enjoying our property so much.
I find it amusing how I see some of my family members far more now that I live so far away. Even if we lived in the same city, we rarely saw each other. Now, we see each other more often and our visits are quality visits. How odd!

I never imagined living here:
or seeing my pup so happy to be in my cousin's company.
Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour



Don't forget! Turn off your lights March 29, from 8 to 9 p.m. "Unplug your TV, your computer, your DVD player - or if you’ve been following these tips, just flick off the power bar you have them all plugged into. Head outside and check out the skyline, by foot - not car."

Earth Hour 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm Minty



You Are Mint Green



Balanced and calm, you have mastered the philosophy of living well.

Your friends seek you out for support, and you are able to bring stability to chaotic situations.

You're very open and cheerful - and you feel like you have a lot of freedom in life.

Your future may hold any number of exciting things, and you're ready for all of them!



Speaking of things that are green, I was just wondering if anyone out there reads Green Is Her New Blog. Anyone? Just wondering :) Don't worry. I won't be upset if you don't. This said, I really hope that you do! The blog is the brainchild of the one and only Curiosity Killer. She's enlisted the help of Fancy Pantsy, Farmer John (my husband) and yours truly to collaborate and share our ideas on everything green. *Ahem* Hubby, you need to post something new soon! CK and Fancy are two of the coolest gals ever (in person and in the blog world)!

Finally, and on an entirely different subject, this photo is for Sandy at Momisodes. In one of her recent posts, she blogged about teaching her daughter how to use chopsticks. She included the cutest photos of her wee one, along with the grooviest trainer chopsticks.

This prompted me to post a photo of my chopsticks. One of my students from South Korea thought it would be funny to give me this:
Yes, I realize that this is for children. I have a problem though. I'm Asian and I don't know how to use chopsticks properly. I can eat with chopsticks without any problems, but it just doesn't look...uhhh...graceful. My hands are all clumsy and things tend to plop onto the table. It's embarrassing.

My poor grandmother (on my Dad's side). I LOVE going to Dim Sum with her whenever we're in New York. I just get anxiety ridden though. Just the thought of all those people in the restaurant knowing how to use chopsticks and me dropping things everywhere...*sigh* Okay, I'm not really that bad. Like I said, I can manage. It just doesn't look that pretty!

When I was teaching in Japan years ago, I ate at a student's house. We were all sitting at the kotatsu for supper and all of a sudden, my student's grandmother reached over and hit my hand! She hit my hand! She noticed that I wasn't holding my chopsticks properly and that was serious business! My punishment? I spent almost an hour picking up grains of rice (one by one) and putting them into a jar with my chopsticks.

Anyway, Sandy...this photo is for you! The chopsticks are smaller than regular ones. They're made for little hands :) They also have a "guide" where children can slip their fingers into the proper position to facilitate picking up their food. When the child has mastered this, you can remove the guide and the child can use the chopsticks without assistance.

I'm 30-something and I still have the guide on mine.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I said I wouldn't, but I did


Years ago, I made a promise that I would never stop loving you. I turned to you when I was blue. I shared my giddy high school days with you. Together, you and I went on many a road trip. Our summers were seemingly endless and so carefree. Oh, to be young and full of life...and to share all the excitement with you!

Your beautiful blue eyes and exquisite blond hair just mesmerized me. I'd close my eyes and listen to your voice and let myself be carried away by your music.

I said I'd always love you. What was I thinking?

Bret, oh, Bret! How did you go from this
to this?
What's this about Rock of Love? I loved you when you were singing with Poison. You were the epitome of coolness...at least in the mind of many lovestruck teenage girls. High school boys wanted to be like you. They even dressed like you!

I said I wouldn't succumb to the temptation of viewing Rock of Love, but I did! You know I'm a glam rock/glam metal girl, but even I have moved on. Though I still love and cherish the music of the glam rock and glam metal days, I have washed away my heavy eyeliner and I've tamed my unruly mane. I've put aside my rocker duds and have left my days of being a total groupie behind.

I still love your music, Bret. However, your continuous desire to party hardy, drink copious amounts of alcohol and keep the company of many women leave a lot to be desired.

It's not you. Really. It's me. I know you are a rocker at heart and that you will always be one. I will cherish the days when I'd play your cassette tapes over and over. Every Rose has its Thorn, Something to Believe in, Ride the Wind, Unskinny Bop, and Your Mama don't Dance will always remind me of my teen years.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stolen from J


You've visited her blog countless times. You're wowed by her incredible taste in literature and films, and are dazzled by her ability to cook the most delectable meals for her family. She's the one, the only, the incredible, intelligent, cool...
J
at Thinking About...

I nabbed these Blogthings from her because they're cool, fun, and I didn't know what else to blog about!



Your Spelling is Perfect



You got 10/10 correct.

Your spelling is excellent. You also have a great memory and eye for detail.





You Are a Good Friend Because You're Loyal



You stick with your friends no matter what, even if you feel like they're doing the wrong thing.

You believe in letting people figure out their own path in life. It's not your place to interfere.

And part of your loyalty means that you'll do a lot for your friends. You definitely go the extra mile.

You'll even do great things for friends without them asking. After all, that's what friendship is all about.

You are truly a friend for life. And you have friends you've known since you were a kid.

Your friends can count on you to do a favor, remember a birthday, or just be there to listen.

Your friends need you most when: They can't turn to anyone else

You really can't be friends with: Fickle people who change friends quickly

Your friendship quote: "Friendship doubles your joys, and divides your sorrows."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Don't Hate Me


...because I'm opinionated.
On the plane ride back from the Dominican Republic, we watched Enchanted. I had heard wonderful reviews from friends. Many said that Enchanted was cute, entertaining, and charming. You know the story, right? Classic animated fairytale meets live-action comedy.

I'm the first person to admit that I am a hopeless romantic and I love all that sappy, feel good, Disney movie/fairytale/princess stuff. I really do. I also love musicals and many movies that most people would think are overly saccharin.

This said, please don't hate me for what I am about to say. Yes, the premise of the movie was cute, but I really couldn't handle Enchanted. It gave me a headache. Perhaps it was the flight that made me ill. Scratch that. The flight was fine. It was the movie that wasn't!

Giselle, the beautiful princess (who was banished from her perfect, animated, musical world by an evil queen) soon ends up facing the reality of the face paced, modern world of New York City. It really pains me to say this because as much as I wanted to love this movie, I have to give it a 2 out of 5. So sad, since I LOVE almost all Walt Disney films.

One good part about the movie? Patrick Dempsey!!! Need I say more? *drool*

After watching Enchanted, my husband and I, and a couple we met at our resort in Puerto Plata discussed how UNenamoured we were with the film. Luckily for us, there was a second film that played promptly after Enchanted.

Ratatouille is a heartwarming story about a rat named Remy who leaves the French countryside for Paris. He discovers that his cooking idol, Auguste Gusteau has died and through his imaginary conversations with the late Gusteau, Remy is led to Gusteau's restaurant in Paris. Remy builds a rather unusual alliance with Linguini (the garbage boy turned chef) after Linguini ruins the soup and Remy fixes it. It's a delightful tale. I give it a five out of five. Too generous? Let's just say that Enchanted pales in comparison!

Lastly, there's one more movie I'd like to talk about.

While in Toronto the other week, my cousin and I watched Beowulf. My cousin had rented several DVDs, but I had been wanting to see Beowulf for some time.

Many moons ago, I had read the story of the heroic warrior who battled the monster, Grendel. I fell in love with the Old English heroic epic poem, though at some points throughout the poem, it was not the easiest to digest.
In the poem, the Geat hero, Beowulf must battle three monsters (Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a ferocious dragon). Beowulf dies in the last battle.

The film actually took me by surprise. Like the poem,
the movie takes place pre-Christianity. Hrothgar, the Danish king must deal with Grendel wreaking havoc on the kingdom. Enter Beowulf, who boasts that he will rid Hrothgar's kindgom of the monster. Beowulf follows the monster to a dark, watery lair, where Grendel's mother awaits. Beowulf makes a deal with the devil and returns to Hrothgar's castle, where he becomes king.

Many years later, another monster wreaks havoc on the kingdom. This time, the monster is in the form of a dragon.
Beowulf was to kill Grendel's mother as well. Like Hrothgar, Beowulf must deal with "the sins of the father".

Prior to watching Beowulf, I had no idea that the film was animated. The animation work was incredible! However, I was shocked that Grendel's mother was modeled in the likeness of Angelina Jolie! That just doesn't seem right!
Beowulf is a tale of weaknesses and harnessing one's strength to become heroic in order to face one's weaknesses again.

I love the poem and surprisingly, I enjoyed the film. I usually prefer the original works better than the made-for-Hollywood movies. Despite the gore (lots of blood and violence, but that's to be expected considering that this was the time of legendary warriors and conquerors) and the fact that Grendel's mother was made to be sexy and seductive like Angelina, this is a really good film. Though much of the original story was glossed over, I liked this version. I think I'll give it a five out of five.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stop!!! Don't Throw That Away!!!


A few years ago, I was reading an article in a green magazine (the name now escapes me) that the average North American household should have very little garbage due to recycling and composting. Since many cities have recycling, most of our glass, plastics, papers and tins can be recycled. Since organic matter can be composted, that leaves very little "actual" garbage to fill the landfills. Right?

Most people I know have been quite diligent about their recycling habits. Some cities even have "wet garbage" collection and when I lived in Toronto, our municipality also offered composters to its residents! They were these big drum-like contraptions where you put all your organic waste in and it turned it into rich, healthy compost for your garden.When I lived in Montreal, I practiced vermicomomposting. It wasn't too difficult to do and the worms were surprisingly not icky at all! I'm a big wuss when it comes to creepy crawly things, but I had no problems with these wormies! The worms I used were called red wigglers. They were extremely efficient at converting household waste into nutrient rich fertilizer. Under the right conditions, the worms pretty much take care of themselves! Of course, you need to maintain the bins, but you will be happy to know that there are no stinky odours if you manage your vermiculture properly.

I gave up my vermicomposting when I moved from Montreal to Toronto. I discovered that my dad had used my red wigglers to feed his fancy goldfish (Japanese Ryukins and Orandas) and to go fishing! He used me $30/1 lb worms for bait!!!

If you are a bit uncomfortable handling worms, then there are other ways to compost. My grandfather always kept a handmade compost bin by his garden and he and my grandmother were very diligent at composting their fruits and veggie scraps every day.

Here on the Island, I just put my fruit & veggie scraps on the far side of my garden, where I have a compost heap. However, if you live in the city and don't have any place or room to compost in your backyard, you can try something like this:
You can compost in your own kitchen! This can be done year-round and it's good for the environment! This particular composter is called the Nature Mill PRO Indoor Composter. Even though I already compost in my garden, I'm almost tempted to get one of these babies!

The company even has a Pet-Friendly Nature Mill to dispose of pet waste. This is something I am looking into because I've been trying to find an earth-friendly way to dispose of the waste from our beloved feline and canine babies! This may just be it! The price is a bit steep, but I haven't had much luck in finding many green ways of disposing of that nasty cat and dog poop!
Cross-posted at Green Is Her New Blog.
Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring


Spring has sprung. I can feel it in the air. The snow is melting. The grass is beginning to poke through the thin layer of ice on the ground. Everything smells fresh and new. The sun shines and warms our greenhouse. The sweet songs of the birds sitting in the trees can be heard. Our maple trees are tapped and the sap is being collected. Yes, it is definitely Spring.

With Spring comes new life and changes. There's a sense of excitement about all things new. In a week, our calving season begins. Life on the farm will be very busy in a week (as if it isn't already busy all the time)!

Something about Spring always makes me feel like I need some kind of change. Something new or uplifting. Spring usually gets my creative juices flowing. I also go on mad cleaning sprees around this time. One of the things I felt compelled to do a few days ago was to get my hair cut. I was getting tired of my hairstyle. It was getting too long and scraggly.

This is what it looked like last Saturday...
This is what it looks like today.
One of my girlfriends and I went to the salon to get our hair cut and styled. We then went out for lunch and a little bit of shopping. Funny how a new haircut can totally change the way you feel :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! Happy Easter Weekend to those who are celebrating Easter :) I'm off to an Easter egg hunt with the nieces now :) Catch up with you later! xoxo
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Absolute Perfection


It's been a while since I've posted on a regular basis. I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I had last checked my e-mail, Facebook or the blog! Hubby and I returned from the Dominican Republic last Tuesday, and the next morning I was on the road to K-town for my little nephew's 1st birthday. I didn't even have time to unpack my suitcase!

It's hard to believe that this time last year, a perfect little angel came into this world. I am constantly shocked at how quickly time passes.

Here's a photo of the cutest little Habs fan!
Tiny hands! My hands look so old and wrinkly next to his soft little baby hands!
Sunshine in the morning while we play with his toys.
Looking up at his Auntie C while he has his milk after breakfast. The boy loves his Cheerios!
He's absolutely perfect! His eyes are so round and big! Check out how long his eyelashes are! Women pay lots of money on mascara and falsies to get eyelashes that long!

Kenny and Auntie C.
Kenny and Auntie C without her make-up! It was too early in the morning!


Grumpy Gramps giving Kenny the wrong bottle!
Here's the story:
My brother/Middle Bro/Kenny's Dad had all the alcohol for the grownups displayed on the table and Kenny kept pointing to the bottle of Jack Daniel's! Dad thought he'd be funny and pretended to give Kenny the bottle. The funny thing is that my Dad doesn't even drink alcohol!! The photo looks bad, but the cap is actually tightly screwed on. Boy! Kenny was really trying hard to drink from the bottle though! Dad wouldn't actually advocate giving a 12 month old whiskey! Later on that day, Kenny tried to drink his Nana's red wine. When that didn't work, he went for my uncle's beer bottle! Hmmm...I think my brother and my SIL are going to have their hands full when Kenny's a teenager! ;)


Kenny and his beautiful mom!
A birthday cake for ME? Check out his facial expression! So cute!
Yum!
Kenny and his mommy. The tricycle was Baby Bro's. It's over 20 years old!
A tractor with lots of buttons (that all make noise)! Uncle J would love this toy!
My parents and their grandson on his 1st birthday (and their 34th wedding anniversary)!


**THIS JUST IN!!!**

OLD RED BARN.CO is having an awesome give away! The lucky winner will be the proud owner of a stunning quilt! Check it out here!

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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