Saturday, December 31, 2011

Israeli Latkes

A number of years ago now, Chris and I travelled to San Diego in California for our winter get away. There is a public space there which includes an "international village". Little buildings which are occupied by expat groups from around the world. The highlight is the Sunday afternoon snacking. Guess what the American house served? Yes, hot dogs. The Israelis were serving latkes, lovely ones. I asked for the recipie and here it is;
2 lbs potatoes, shredded/grated
1 onion, shredded/grated
2 eggs
salt & pepper
1/4c matzo meal or flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
non-stick cooking spray
1. Pre heat the oven to 425.
2. mix all the ingredients in a large bowl
3. scoop latke mix out using a 1/4c measure squashing the mix into the cup to form a circular mound when you put it on the baking tray.
4. bake for 15 minutes then turn and bake 10 minutes more.
They were so good that half were gone by the time I got the camera out.

Family Holidays

My nephew Luca and his dad, Drew flew back to Vancouver last evening. It was lovely haveing them both for the holidays. Photos to follow.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Santa came and left us all presents. He made sure to eat the cookie and drink the milk we left him too. Good times were had by all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Tree - A holiday hang over

In order to fit in with the general Christmas starts early trend, and to defeat the darkness, we always put up (or light up depending on whether we took the lights down) our out door Christmas lights. The tree and interior decorations always wait until after the 20th, which is Chris' birthday. Usually by then we have an idea of where we are getting our tree. This year we've drawn a blank. It could be a very serious Charlie Brown tree. time will tell.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Shortest Day

It is time to be thankful that the days from now on will be longer. The creeping back of the light doesn't usually mean much until February, but it is still nice to know that the longest night is over again this year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Skied To Work

It was admittedly a show off thing to do. It didn't go as well as planned. I usually take 30 minutes to walk to work. It took 50 minutes to ski to work into the teeth of a particularly nasty north wind breaking trail the whole way. Not the fun and speedy adventure I'd hoped for.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Basement Built Ins

Chris and I have used every room in our 3 bedroom home for 1, home office, 2, sewing room, 3 bedroom. So, we had our excellent cabinet maker create a built in double sized murphy bed and shelves for our downstairs room. The guest room is most times Chris' boardroom, so multi purpose was important. Our cabinet maker Marc Berube was rather fed up with working with poplar so built it out of birch. In retrospect he agrees with us that it would have looked even nicer built out of poplar. Still, all and all a lovely piece of furniture. And no, we are never leaving this house!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last Ride

For weeks now I've been thinking it was the last day for riding my bike. Then the sun would come out, the roads would dry and I'd ride off again. Last night I ended up riding home from a quilting class in the snow! This morning the roads and sidewalks were coated with ice.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sarah's Jamie Oliver Coleslaw

One of the local organic farmers Mom was a smart cookie and put a notice in the Garage Sales section of the paper to 'yard sale' organic produce. I swung by on Africa and picked up a few local specialties. Purple cabbage, baby carrots, spring onions and 2 kinds of turnip. The carrots, cabbage and onions became the best coleslaw ever! So simple the ingredients really get to sing.

Friday, October 7, 2011

pet update

The dog seems to be doing pretty well. We hope to find out today if she can do stairs. The cats continue their odd relationship - occassionally loving, sometimes at war.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wine Flights

I can't remember if it is vertical or horizontal wine tasting flight(google tells me it is a version of horizontal) but we tasted two of our apricot wines this evening side by side. Joe's wine from St.Laszlo Estate Winery was our favourite. It's the sexy home brew style unlabelled one in the photo. If you are any where near the Similkameen Valley drop in on Joe at St.Laszlo's and tell him Sarah and Chris from the Yukon sent you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Staying the Course

Yes'm we are still here in B.C. We had a long relaxing stay in the southern Oakanagan valley. We'd recommend the Casa Dela Mia Oro to all and sundry. We didn't even get to half of the wineries between Osoyoos and Oliver. Each had things to recommend it. On our way back to Chilliwack we almost didn't make it because of the wineries, fruit stands and thai food. Also the super slow trucks. Highway 97 is not for those in a rush.

If you are ever in the Similkameen Valley or near Keremeos you MUST stop in at the Thai food restaurant - I am a verifiable food freak and that thai food was some of the best ever.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

20km diet

Well we didn't make the 40k bike ride because I got a nasty flat and I figured my patch wouldn't last. We got about 20K all told. However, we did manage a lovely meal with ingredients all from within 20K of our location, including the wine! I did cheat a bit and use salt, pepper and olive oil from much farther away. The results? Delicious. Wish we'd had company to share it with us.

Dry Hiking

Don't go grocery shopping hungry

"Let's pick up something for lunch", I said to my husband. Well, you can see the result of a grocery shop and a few fruit stands between the grocery store and our condo. Bon Apetito!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Puppy Heaven

Isla is really enjoying this holiday, lots of new people, new dogs and a lake right here.

Golden Mile

Last evening we drove the 20k from Osyoos to Oliver. Much easier than the bike earlier in the day. Not that we biked to Oliver, we biked to vinyards before Oliver. Anyway, it's called the Golden Mile because of a narrowing of the valley and it's former gold production that produces some lovely fruit, including nectarines and grapes. We stopped at Panorama Fruit Stand for some nectarines; "here, take more. take some peaches too". $2 for a 5lb bag of fresh, ripe, juicy, real fruit.

There is a hiking trail that snakes behind some of the orchards and vineyards which starts at the Tinhorn Creek vineyard and hits an abandoned town and old gold stamp mill.


Because parents all have diffferent ideas about whether it is ok to post photos of their children, I won't post photos of our very cute little nephews. Last week we took Wendy, Robyn and Murdoc (the nephew) out for a meal at a neat spot near the Fraser River to early celebratge Wendy's birthday. On Saturday past Drew came down to Osoyoos and we all went to the model train display here in Osoyoos. What fun! both our nephews like trains which I think is part of their English heritage. I've got a few train twitchers in my family tree that is for sure.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nk'Mip & Burrowing Owl

It's been a slice of heaven here in Osoyoos. The weather has been hot, the peaches are ripe and there are so many wineries we probably won't get to them all. Yesterday we did a roundabout bike to Nk'Mip winery (say 'inkaneep'). A lovely tasting with Joan and a fabulous lunch out on the patio overlooking the vineyards and lake. We bought a whole case of wine, then looked at each other and said; "that's not going to fit on the bikes!" We road home, then drove back up for our booze.

Today we were more adventurous and decided to bike to the wineries on the Black Sage Road. Well, actually, we'd thought to go farther, but succumbed to the first set of winery signs off highway 97. As a cyclist highway 97 isn't bad, but it ain't great. So, we ended up at Burrowing Owl winery. Again, we had a lovely tasting, went for lunch on the spectacular deck and bought a case of wine. Burrowing Owl ships for a very reasonable price, so we will happily await the arrival of our wines in Whitehorse.

It was not the best day to dilly dally because by the time we left the winery it was 35 degrees in the shade. I had to stop twice to run through sprinklers (thanks orcharidsts). By the time we got back to the condo, I was a crispy critter. I road onto the sand of the beach, doffed my helmet and dove into the lake. Unfortunately Christopher's cell phone was in my pocket. Sigh. I thought it was a special waterproof contractor's cell phone. It is a contractor's cell phone, but it is shockproof, not waterproof. We hope to resurrect it with liberal application of heat and dry rice.

Tomorrow I'm very much looking forward to the Road 13 Vintner's Dinner. We got tickets because of a cancellation - their rainy day is our sunshine.

Isla is doing well, gets in the water of Osoyoos Lake at least twice a day and has many local admirers (human and dog).

Saturday, September 10, 2011


We are at tinhorn creek vineyards listening to k-os
Tres fun

Friday, September 2, 2011

Isla's Beauty Photos

Isla is doing well healing her broken leg.

All Cheese, All the Time

Who would have thought, an all cheese meal! We started with fondue to celebrate the acquisition of our new to us fondue pot. Then a sizzling pan full of halumi also known as saganaki (sp?) once it's cooked and spritzed with lemon and sprinkled with salt.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Renovation Stand Still

I cannot force myself to utter the words "done" or "finished", but we are probably at the place we'll be with the renovations for the next while. As you can see it is a livably space with lots of lovely light, both natural and artificial.
You can see the fantastic Art of Nicole Bauberger adorning our walls. Fortunately we already owned these.
I've told a number of folks about the furniture; we spent the furniture budget on our dog Isla's surgery. What did we have before? Old, stained and worn out student furniture. As a well employed professional I thought it was time to invest in some grown up furniture so we got rid of the old student stuff. The irony is we are now again sitting on student furniture. The yard sale scores mentioned earlier. Thinking about it, it is far better to spend money on a loved one than on material things. We did have some nice pieces, the two asian trunks in the photo. They don't necessarily both fit in the room, but hey, I wasn't in this to win decorating awards.

My Mom's a Republican!

I don't know how I could have live so long without discovering the truth about my Mom; she's a Republican?! Gadzukes. I love her dearly and call her regularly, but I said to her; "if you tell me you belong to the Tea Party, I'm not calling any more". She got rather quiet after that. Sigh. Happily I'm an independant soul, so while this news is surprising, it hasn't shattered my world.

Republicans for Voldemort Unite!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes

As a child one of my favourite picture books was titled "My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes". As an adult I have cats who do exactly that. This is also an example of a cat disdaining the polyester mat in the window in favour of the aran wool sweater in the box.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Surgery Furniture

Well, since we spent a large amount of un-budgeted for money on Isla's surgery we don't have money for furniture. Heading into this renovation we got rid of the too big stained couch and we'd earlier gotten rid of it's companion chair. All with thoughts of getting new furniture that would suit our newly renovated space. Well, that's not going to happen. So yesterday when Chris and I were heading out for a walk and we ran into one of my colleages from work who is a yardsaleista extrodinaire and she mentioned that she'd seen some furniture on her explorations we turned right back around and got the truck, a map, cash, and the yard sale list.
We are now the proud owners of a new to us couch, 4 kitchen chairs and a stool. Total cost? $65+labour and maybe some other bits and pieces. The couch I already sanded and finished with danish oil. The cushions are in really good shape, we just don't like the colour of the covers. For now, we'll fix that with a drape of fabric. Later I might re-cover the cushions with some charcoal grey wool. The stool I need to get some new foam and fabric to give it a new seat. The kitchen chairs I'm not sure if I'll strip and re-finish, or just leave as is.
Isla's health is good. Her broken leg is healing well. She still isn't allowed to move for the next 8 weeks. We hope at the end she'll be ok emotinally.

Autumn Bounty

The garden beds have produced enough lettuce and leafy greens over the last months to keep us happily in salad. Today we roasted a turkey that didn't fit in the freezer and accompanied it with fresh garden potatoes, beets & beet greens. Lovely to have after all the time of watching it grow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Isla's OK

Isla was operated on yesterday by a orthopedic vetirinary surgen who was able to put her broken bone back together with a few screws and pins. There was some concern that she might lose her leg because of possible nerve damage. Happily there wasn't any nerve damage, she was just in a lot of pain. Chris is visiting with her now in the vet's surgery in Calgary.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Isla Broke her leg

Yesterday Isla slammed into a hole returning a fetch and broke her leg. Unfortunately she broke it in a way and a place that requires surgery. She just arrived in Calgary with Christopher after a sleepless night here in Whitehorse. Wish her well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cats know Quality

It has always been my thesis that cats will choose to nap on the nicest thing available. I call this the 'cat nap test'. If I'm unsure about the fibre content of a sweater for example (where this test is almost 100% accurate) I will lay out the questioned sweater on the bed along with a few other choice garmets of known fibre content. The cat nap test will tell me which has the most expensieve fibre. My new to me danish modern chair I can now report has wool upholstery based on the latest results of the 'cat nap test'.

Measles, Mumps & Rubella

So, almost two weeks ago I had a booster for measles, mumps and rubella. Short version of the story is that I had a bad reaction. I ended up in the emergency room where I was given a shot of 'epi' along with a nice walloping dose of benedryl. I'm pissed that the public health nurses didn't mention that 1 in 4 women get stiff swollen joints and that 1 in 20 people get a rash. I got a lovely all over itchy rash and my knees swelled up so much I couldn't bend them. i try and console myself with the fact that I am now completely immune to measles, mumps and rubella. The rash has been tamed by large doses of benedryl, the swollen knees are starting to reduce, either due to the well known healing effects of time and rest or the walloping dosss of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. All the bed rest has been very good for my sore back. Now I just need to get back to work and my exercise regime ...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Latest Pics - The Waiting Game

We are both impatient to move in and exhausted. Unfortunately the delays caused by Frederick Robert of Beauvais flooring mean our painter has other work and so the waiting continues...

We hope Paul will be able to come through for us. We have to be patient and not move furniture etc in until the floors have cured. We are moving into the kitchen finally.

Dad has headed South again and managed to put the back deck back together, hang the new front door and do the upstairs trim and baseboards. Our fabulous friend Eric Roche from Locksmith Services put in a new door handle and keyless deadbolt system.

Sarah's work early in the summer has paid off to build a beautiful garden beside the new shack.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Are we there yet?

It seems to me that we've been 'almost done' for a very long time. I'm exhausted and finished mentally. I've hurt my back twice in this process which makes everything just that little bit less fun. Frankly, I don't think we will ever be done. We are just going to move back in and say; "f**k it". The equivilant of planning a journey to Florida and stopping in Georgia or even Massechussets.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finishing the Floor

Here we go - Chris has the camera, so photos later, but I am cleaning the floors for the umpteenth time (the cleaner they are the nicer the finish will look - see the footprints post). I tested the waterbased top coat last night and it looks good. We were worried that the cabernet red oil based stain might not be dry enough, but I think it is. Yes, I know, Oil and Water don't mix! In the modern wood finishes world they've made really good progress with water based finishes. As long as the oil is dry, the waterbased Varathane will look great. Wish me luck.

Footprints in the floor

Rats! despite all our best efforts at shoes off and clean feet there are some subtle footprints in the finish. Sigh. I think I know who's feet they are and I'll do a Cinderella type event at the kitchen party. It is heartwarming in a way to know that our friends will always be with us.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Progress At Last

After basically being held captive by an overly busy tradesmen, we have taken over the reigns of the floor refinishing and worked hard (Dad especially, Chris Sarah and Darrin also) for several days. We just could not wait any longer.

We are appreciative that Frederic has agreed to focus on finishing the backsplash and the stair tiles and has not taken offense at our taking over the floor refinishing. Sarah and Chris spent the day yesterday with oil induced headaches and managed to paint our way into a corner (sorry no pics of that one;-)

Bruce has gone with our friends Eric and Angela to Haines for a well deserved break to try his hands at Sockeye fishing and a little celebrating at the Haines Southeast Alasks State Fair.

Chris is heading to fish camp on Saturday to visit with his Grandma May (also a well deserved break). Sarah is going to have some Sarah time and look after cats. Perhaps she will start the Varathane coats on Sunday.

Frederic has some more to go on the backsplash and we hope that will be complete soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Another week goes by

Another week goes by and we are still living in the Kleenex box in the front yard. I try very hard to live by that classic addage; "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". It's been hampering my blog posts. We are still waiting for the floors to be refinished. I beleive it is fair to say that we are all tired of waiting. Today we all pitched in on the sanding. Even our super neighbour Darrin who is building his own home pitched in. It was good to get something accomplished. We are still left with quite a few bits and pieces to finish before the project is done. In addition to the flooring, there's the baseboards, door trim, painting, backsplash, and of course the ultimate clean.