Melissa's Blog

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Walkley Rd Trail

Over the (beautiful) long weekend Alain and I decided to take Kelly out for a walk. Originally, we had planned to go back to Mer Bleu (the bog) but the trail was just too wet. We tried to stick it out through the muck but when my feet got wet and Kelly lay down in a foot deep puddle, we turned back.
Instead we ended up at a trail at the end of Walkley Rd in an area that used to be a landfill site. Now the site is pretty much just a huge mound of grass and bushes, only smelly occasionally. It turned out to be a great place to set Kelly free and she had a ball tearing around through the tall grass. I caught this great action shot of her (ears-a-flappin') running towards me. She has become really good at hide and seek and I happen to be her favourite person to find.

The last photograph is in the car, I believe before we headed home, Kelly was obviously played out and looking just plain adorable resting her head on the car seat. I am SOOO addicted to her.

So this is what stress feels like...

My newly developed case of insomnia means that I am up half the night tossing and turning. I guess, after all this time, I am starting to feel the stress of writing a thesis. Actually, the middle of the night isn't so bad for thesis writing - I've done 4 pages already tonight, and its only 4:48!

I think that the stress of the thesis might not be so bad if it weren't coupled with my impending move. As some of you may or may not know (although there has been no official announcement I suppose), I'm moving in with Alain and while I couldn't be happier about that, the transition period has been more than a little stressful.

It's been too much, and although I wasn't planning to move for another month or so, to try to bring some balance back into my life (and perhaps even regularly scheduled meals!) we moved up the date and I'll be there as of Friday (even if most of my stuff won't). We'll do some last minute set up stuff over the course of the weekend, and will bring Pumpkin over early next week (stay tuned for how her transition goes... I know every one is more worried about her than me! haha).

Between now and then (depending on my crazy sleep schedule) I will try to update with more posts from Thanksgiving weekend and beyond.. Sorry people, things have been just too busy for words.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pumpkin Pie!

I'm running a little behind in my updates, you know how it goes, life is always busy. Last weekend however, was not too busy to enjoy stepping back in time and make pumpkin pie the good old fashioned way (Don't worry, no pet cats were harmed in the making of these pies).

Alain and I spent almost a whole day (Saturday) baking home made, from scratch, pumpkin pie. From a pumpkin and everything! No canned pumpkin was used, nor did we buy the pre-made pie shells. No-Siree.

You should understand that this was my first time making pumpkin pie, and I really had no idea how time consuming it would be. We worked slowly over the course of the day, but still, we didn't finish until nearly 9pm!

Cooking the pumpkin, rolling the dough, cooking the crust... oh my what a task. I must give a big hats off to all those Mom's out there who do this every year, in addition to a big turkey dinner with guests etc. I was pretty exhausted after just having to deal with the pies, let alone anything else!

Anyways, enough grumbling, as you can see in the last photos, they turned out great (another post will follow with us enjoying the pie). I must say that I was pretty impressed with myself for getting through the whole pie making experience in one piece.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This weekend was so much fun and I can't help but be reminded that there is sooo much to be thankful for. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and got to spend time with their loved ones and relaxing. I stayed in Ottawa as I am still in hard-core thesis mode, so I missed being with my family and visiting in Cambridge, but everyone was very understanding and I know I was missed.

Sunday Alain and I went to the Mountain Apple Orchard about half an hour away from Ottawa. We had a great time playing in the corn maze and picking our own apples. We also did a short hike on a trail that they had on the property and stocked up on fresh apple cider and some AMAZING buckwheat honey. (Have you tried buckwheat honey? If you haven't you should!)

Here are some photos of us at the beginning of the corn maze...

Here is a photo of me looking relieved at the end of the corn maze, also one of Alain celebrating us finding the exit... I must admit that I got a little scared in there... might not have made it out if Alain hadn't been there to find our way out...

Here are some photos of us picking apples at the orchard. We chose to pick the MacIntosh apples as these trees were direct descendents of the original MacIntosh trees. Although there were only windfall apples (the ones already on the ground) we pretended to pick them from the tree itself for the photos. haha..

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

CIBC Run for the Cure

Finally, one last post relating to the activities of this past weekend (sometimes I think that we need to slow down and RELAX a little over the weekends, but I swear, there is always just TOO MUCH to do!)

On Sunday was CIBC's Run for the Cure and since Alain is a runner, he decided to participate again this year. It was SOOO rainy and wet when we left the house, and all of Major's Hill Park was one big puddle, but us, and over 13,000 other's like us stuck it out to run or walk for Breast Cancer research. Thankfully, it stopped running during the actual run/walk.

Here are some photos of the start line and the Official Pace Car.

I didn't run or walk, since this was a last minute decision on Alain's part (he decided to participate on Saturday night) but instead came out to support him and cheer on those who were participating. The newspaper doesn't say how many people ran verses walked, but there were definitely more walkers than runners. In fact, the walkers were still crossing the start line when the first runners crossed the finish line!!!

Alain did very well, finishing at about 23 minutes, happy although tired. I've included a few photos of him during the race (outlined in pink) but definitely need to work on my technique for capturing him while he's running because I totally missed him crossing the finish line.

This years cross-canada run raised 23.4 million dollars, with Ottawa-Gatineau raising $1.4 million.

You can check out the Ottawa Citizen article on the Run here:

and learn more about the run here:

IMAX Deep Sea and Greece: Secrets of the Past

On Saturday night Alain and I went to see two IMAX shows at the Canadian Museum of Civilization's IMAX theatre. Both were great and I thought I'd mention them here.

The first show, Deep Sea, was narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslett and explored the deepest depths of the ocean.
The movie, presented on the IMAX dome was incredibly beautiful and featured, according to the official movie description "67 different species of aquatic life...[including]...the giant Pacific Octopus and the Mantis Shrimp" as well as fish, turtles, urchins, starfish, coral, squid and jellyfish.

Under the ocean it always seems like life is technicolour, this film was no exception. From my snorkling on the Great Barrier Reef a few years back I know that this film was not retouched or enhanced, and that still amazes me.

The second film we saw was Greece: Secrets of the Past and it was also quite good. This movie focus on the archaeological and historical past of Greece and traced the development of Greek culture as it influences us today. It touched on the legend of Atlantis, the volcanic eruption that create Santorini Island and the building of the city of Athens, including the Parthenon.

I liked the archaeological focus of this film, and it reminded me of all the stuff I learned in my first year Greek archaeology and civilization courses (and of course have since forgotten). It was entertaining as well, and of course, featured the beatiful landscapes of Greece.

If you can, check out both or either of these IMAX films, they were a real visual treat!

Flood Lime Kiln

On Saturday Ottawa was treated to a beautifully sunny day and Alain and I decided to take advantage of it, you have to at this point, with the weather getting colder and so much rain in the forecast. We loaded Kelly into the SUV and headed to the outskirts of town to a walking trail maintained by the NCC.

The trail leads up to the historic Flood Lime Kiln (owned by a man named Flood) and is one of the few remaining examples of an industrial lime kiln in Ontario. It was built in the late 1800s and was used to manufacture lime until around 1906, which was quite late when compared to other lime kilns. For those that don't know, lime was commonly used as both a building supply and household chemical - in mortar, fertilizer, white wash, plaster and more. The chemical was replaced in the early 1900s as portland cement was introduced from Europe.

This kiln was abandoned by 1906 and fell into disrepair. It was rediscovered in the 1970s and finally repaired and restored in 1999. I would assume archaeological excavations had occurred to some extent, but to the left of the site, where the original quarry was (and where Kelly, Alain and I posed for photos against the escarpment) there was a lot of historical material on the surface, including refined white earthenware.

I loved this site and was happy to see it preserved as part of the NCC walking trails system. Enjoy the photos...

The Bookshop

On Friday night Alain and I had tickets to see a show at the National Arts Centre downtown. We got (semi) dressed up as it was a family show and we knew many people would not go all out, and had a great dinner at Griffins on Elgin Street. The food was great, with All You Can Eat Mussels for just $7.50 for me and Fish and Chips for Alain at just $8.95. It's not a seafood place surprisingly, although you might think otherwise by what Alain and I ordered, there really seemed to be something for every one, and at mostly decent prices.

They had an interesting martini menu, so we each had a yummy martini as well.

The show that we had tickets for, called the Bookshop, was a family play put on by the A Théâtre du Gros Mécano from Quebec. This was actually the english premier of the show. It was, as I mentioned a family show, so there were a lot of kids in the audience, but we both enjoyed it quite a lot.

It followed Jane on the first day of opening an old bookshop she had recently taken over. She is concerned when no one comes into the shop, but finds out why that very night, the shop is haunted by the ghost of a former owner! The ghost is looking for a book, a very specific book that he misplaced and feels he must find before the lost love of his life passes over. He cannot pass over until he can be with her again. He recruits Jane into his search and helps Jane to realise her feelings for the Chocolatier that has a shop next door. He than encourages her to follow her heart and confess her feelings to the Chocolatier before he closes the door to his shop for the last time.

It was a funny play, a little sad and definitely well performed and well written. The whole audience, of all ages seemed to enjoy it and for $12 a ticket, it was hard not to. It's nice to have a night out like that every once in a while, even if it doesn't have to cost a fortune.