Wednesday, May 31, 2006

BBQ Ribz

Following the lead of two excellent cooks, Jess and Megan, I decided to try these ribz. The recipe did sound a little weird, but both ladies had good results, so I gave it a whirl a few days ago. All in all it was really easy to make and took almost no time. It was a bit messy. Squishing in the PB on both sides left globs of the stuff on the counter, but was kind of fun. I'm sure kids would love to help with this dish.

We had them for dinner with "cheezy" potatoes and garden salad.

I think Jim liked them better than I did. They were tasty enough, but I think maybe too much

peanut butter
for me. Next time, I'll try using just 1 tablespoon and see if that makes a difference.
There was enough left over that I had lunch for two days! I stuffed the ribz into a pita with lettuce and some mayo and rolled it up. That I liked better than the ribz just on their own. But I will definitely make them again trying adjustments.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pooch Promenade (as told by Simon)

Every year Animal Aid holds their Pooch Promenade walk-a-thon. This is our 3rd year going and I always have a blast. With mommy & daddy's help I was able to raise $140 in pledges! For our efforts, Mommy gets a T-shirt, I get a goodie bag and everyone walking in our group gets a hot dog and a drink. They always have veggie dogs, which is great for Mommy! When first arrived and there weren't too many people there.

That was OK. We got registered and picked up our coupons and then guess who we saw.


It's Mommy's friend Stephanie from work. She brought Emma. I like Stephanie. She's always nice to me and she thinks I'm funny. I like Emma too. She's gone on the walk-a-thon with me every year. She's older though and doesn't want to play as much as I do.


Fiona and James came too. But James is too little to walk that far, so he brought his tricycle.


This is another lady from Mommy's work, Diane. She has a new dog that Mommy said came from a rescue. I wasn't sure what that meant, but Mommy said it's a place where dogs go when no one wants them or are mean to them. How could anyone be mean to a dog? And then nice people like Diane, come and take the dogs home and love them. Animal Aid is a rescue place. I like to do the Pooch Promenade to help the poor dogs that don't have homes.

This is McCartney and he looks like he's pretty happy now. He was kinda shy, but I think he'll be OK.

Then it was time for the walk to begin.

We listened to some speeches by 'dignitaries' who Mommy called 'pompous dicks'. I'm not sure what that means, but I got the feeling she didn't like them. We were lucky to be near the front. After we'd walked a little bit, I turned around and saw all these people following us.

So, we had to speed it up.

I stopped at the "Pooch Pub" for a drink. They tried to give me a cookie, but I wasn't interested. I didn't want to get a cramp. The sign at the stop said "Paws Awhile." Haha! They were trying to be funny.


I looked behind and Uh-oh! They were gaining on us.


We walked a really good walk. It was 5km total and I was getting a bit tired near the end. Here we are into the home stretch. Can you see me in the bottom right hand corner?


Just up from here a bit, Mommy and Daddy saw someone else they knew. Geez! While they were talking, I went and looked in the water. Look what I saw!


A mother duck and her babies! I wonder if they were swimming for Animal Aid.

After that, Mommy & Daddy & Jade got their hot dogs and pop. Mommy shared her's with me. It was yummy! Then we walked around and checked out some of the booths. There were some really nice girls at the PetSmart booth that gave me some toys and some treats and a really cool handkercheif. Don't I look very dapper in it?




Check out this guy.

Some dogs will do anything for a little attention. Maybe he was trolling for bitches and was trying to look cool.


By this point I was tired, so we came home. I just wanted to lay down and have a nap. My bandana came off and Daddy laid down with me.



What a great day! Mommy said she was so proud of me.


She asked me if I wanted to do it again next year. Do I ever! I can't wait!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Birthday Boy

Someone very special is having a birthday today.....

. .

It's Simon's birthday! He's 3 years old today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIMON!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Victoria Day

A free day! Woo-hoo! Jim and I were both off work, so what did we do? Wine tasting! Surprised?
One of our favorite is
Featherstone. They were offering a little seminar with a riesling tasting flight. It was a vertical flight which means, same wine variety, same vineyard, different years. It's a great way to compare the effect of weather on the taste of the grapes and the wine. The first part of the seminar was out in the vineyard.

Here is the winemaker, David Johnson, explaining the benefits of trellising the vines.


We then went into the barn, which has been converted to a tank room. There was a nice table set up with 5 glasses each. We got to taste riesling from 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. There were 4 gentleman in our group who were visiting from Austria, so it was interesting to get their take on Canadian riesling. They bought a whole bunch of stuff, so I guess they liked it!

They have a lovely shop and tasting bar.



We also got to say hello to Bocci. He is David & Louise's Jack Russell. He's a rough coat as opposed to Simon who is a smooth coat.


I just love Bocci's dog house.




Since we were just down the road from Vineland Estates, we stopped in there and scored some 2001 Gewurtztraminer for $9.95 a bottle! It will have to be consumed soon, but with summer right on the doorstep, white wines are always refreshing in the hot weather.

From there, we hit.....guess?
Fielding! I think I mentioned before how much I like the wines here. There weren't any new releases, except for what was available during my birthday shop and sample weekend. It was their first anniversary weekend though, so we got a free taste of a reserve wine.


On the way there, we spotted a small beaver on the road. When I tried to get a better picture, he ran away.

Jim suggested then that we stop in Grimsby at Kittling Ridge. Kittling Ridge is a winery, but also a distillery. I've had some of their wines and didn't think much of them, but was keen to try their spirits. They had a lot of tasty treats available. Jim is a big, huge single malt Scotch fan. I think Scotch is pretty groady. We both enjoy a nice glass of Canadian whisky (called Rye in Canada). They had 3 different ones. The sipping whisky was really very good, so I got Jim a bottle of that. They also had a tasty brandy-based coffee liqueur. One of my favorite cocktails is a Black Russian. I'm going to try and make one with it and see how it tastes. The highlight for me of our visit to Kittling Ridge was this.

It's a maple liqueur. Jim doesn't like maple. Bah! What kind of a Canadian is he? I, on the other hand, looooove maple, so this is all for me.

By this point we were starved so we came back to Burlington and went to a pub called the Poacher. This place has been around for eons.

The atmosphere is good and the food was very tasty. I got a veggie burger because I was craving one and their's was better than most. They also have home-made fries. Not as good as Dad's but good nonetheless.

We then got Simon and took him for a run at the dog park. It was so friggin' cold up there that we only stayed for about half an hour. There weren't very many people (or dogs), but Simon found a couple to play with and had a good, hard run. We were all tired by this point, so finished off the day. We were too tired to go for the fireworks, but we could hear them outside.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Just Because

Jim brought these home for me on Saturday. He said "Just because." Awwwww!!



Saturday, May 20, 2006



Let the fireworks begin. It's the long weekend!
Victoria Day, otherwise known as May two-four. We loooooove this weekend because it's the official kick-off of summer here in Canada. May 24 is Queen Victoria's birthday and was declared a holiday by the Legislature of the Province of Canada in 1845. That's before we were even an official country! The holiday is observed on the Monday preceeding May 24. This year it's on May 22. This weekend is also used to observe the current reigning monarch's birthday.

It's also called May two-four because beer is the official beverage of most celebrations this weekend (a summer beverage if there ever was one) and beer is sold in cases of 24. So, it's called a two-four (another Canadianism).

It's considered safe to start planting gardens this weekend because the chance of frost now is minimal. It's also the weekend to open up the cottage for the summer. Right now where I am in Southern Ontario, it's warm and sunny, things are all green again, flowers are blooming. It's just a general feeling of "Thank God that winter shit weather is over." Although I really do enjoy winter, too much of it for too long does get tired.

Victoria Day is often thought of as a purely Canadian event, but it is also celebrated in some parts of Scotland, particularly in Edinburgh and Dundee where it is also a public holiday.

So enjoy the nice weather, your beer and the fireworks. Happy Victoria Day everybody!

Go Oilers!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Simon Update

After a very worrisome Sunday (see below), Simon seems to be doing very well. We've had no more vomiting and no more blood.

Yesterday afternoon we went to see our own vets, the Drs. Woolard. These two are awesome. It's a husband and wife team and they work so hard. Dr. Sarah is who we initially saw when we got Simon as a puppy. She looked after us for about a year, then was off on maternity leave, so Dr. Stuart took over Simon's care. Now Dr. Sarah is back and Simon was quite happy about that. Unfortunately, Joanne had already left by the time we got there. Joanne is one of the technicians and Simon ADORES her. She always gives him special attention and treats and usually sends him home with a special toy or a handkercheif. She was especially helpful to us when we were going through all the allergy tests and learning how to administer his injections because she has a Boston Terrier with allergies.

Anyhow, yesterday was an already booked appointment to do a blood test and get his heartworm medication. The emergency clinic had faxed all the paperwork over, so it was all in Simon's file. Dr. Sarah told us all of the reasons why this could have happened - a bone chip, a sliver of wood if he'd been chewing sticks, etc. all the same things that the other vet had told Jim, but....nothing showed up on X-Rays or in the bloodwork. It must be tough to be a doctor of any kind when patients are looking to you for answers and sometimes there just aren't any. One thing she did mention was that it could have been the prednisone. He gets minimal & sporadic doses when he's really itchy because of the allergies. This could cause an ulcer. The abscense of blood in his stool also indicates that the bleeding is not in the intestinal tract. The medicine we got from the emergency vet is very good, but very expensive. Dr. Sarah was saying that because he doesn't need the prednisone all the time, we might be just as successful with Zantac, which would be more economical. We'll see how he's doing when he's finished all his meds.

In the meantime, he's back to his normal Jack Russell Terrorist antics. I'd say he's feelin' fine! That makes me very happy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day Emergency

Mother's Day was going to be a bit of an awkward one this year. Originally, we were going to do a Chinese take-out with Jim's mom. I had to work at the wine store 11-6, so it wouldn't have been too late and we were going to just grab food after I was finished and head over to Mama Rita's. Well, Jade has started a new job and she had to work from 5-8pm so Jim was going to have to take her home early. Mother's Day then turned into lunch for the 3 of them, which was OK by me and then Jim and I were going to do some take-out later.
I was in the bathroom getting ready for work and I heard Jim say "Oh Simon". I poked my head out and said "What's he doing?" Jim said "He just barfed." I went in the bedroom and found that he'd thrown up blood! At first it didn't clue in what I was looking at. I asked Jim if he'd fed Simon strawberries because it was that red. Being a Sunday, our vet's office is closed, so we had to go to the emergency clinic. Simon seemed fine otherwise, but vomiting blood is not good and we had to get him checked out. Jim dropped me off at work and headed to the vet's. He was there until 2:00 while they ran tests, did X-Rays, the whole bit. The vet couldn't find any internal bleeding or foreign matter and said it could have been something that cut him and has since passed, could be an ulcer, she really couldn't say. Nothing was showing up on the X-Ray and his blood work was fine. Whew! We have an appt. with Dr. Woolard on Wednesday anyway to get some heartworm medication, so she was sending the report over there and we could follow up with Stuart. She gave Jim some stomach soothing medicine, some antibiotics and a bill for $537. Because of this emergency, Mother's Day got postponed until Jade comes again in 2 weeks. There just wasn't enough time left. Since we were now a bit short of cash, we opted for a frozen Delissio Veggie Deluxe pizza that I added some Yves pepperoni to and a really good bottle of wine (2000 vintage of Hillebrand Collectors Choice Cabernet-Merlot ) to de-stress. Simon seems fine, Thank God!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Saturday Night Dinner

Last night we had a yummy dinner. Jade was over, so I like to make interesting things when she's here. I first made some tofu with Patak's Korma sauce. We had never tried it before, but it wasn't very flavourful. Lackluster was Jim's word. It wasn't bad, just not as tasty as some of the others we've tried. We still like the Rogan Josh sauce the best so far. I also cooked up some basmati rice - I love basmati rice and with that made Cousin Natasha's Everything But The Kitchen Sink Vegetable Curry from La Dolce Vegan. I really like that recipe. It's a great one for using up veggies in the fridge. Since we finally got around to loading the software for my camera, I can post my own pictures. Yeah!

Here's Jade making a face for the camera. I told her I was going to put the picture on here, but I don't think she believed me. HA!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The World's Sexiest Vegetarians

Over at GoVeg. com the voting is on! is one of PETA's sites and they've been doing this contest for 5 years now. There is a list of women and a list of men. You get to vote for who you think is the world's sexiest vegetarians. For the ladies, I voted for Natalie Portman. I think she's lovely.

For the guys, unfortunately Johnny Depp isn't a vegetarian, but JD Fortune is and he was on the list, so I HAD to vote for him. How could I not? Look at him. Such hotness. Ooooo.



And, he's a Leafs fan! Even better!



If you'd like to cast your vote (there's a long list of people to choose from) head over to The World's Sexiest Vegetarians page.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blue Ridge Bones

A few weeks ago, I posted about Animal Wellness magazine. In it were, of course, a lot of advertisements. One that intrigued me was for Blue Ridge Bones. Because Simon has some food allergies, I have to be careful what I feed him. I checked out the website and the treats seemed to be chicken-free - totally meat-free actually. I didn't remember seeing these at the pet store, so I e-mailed the company to see if they sold their dog cookies in Canada. I got a very friendly and prompt message back from Sarah Ernst who is one of the partners/owners. She said they don't sell in any stores in Canada yet, but orders can be placed on their website and she said she'd mail me some samples. They arrived a few days ago and I must say that Simon really liked them. I think he was partial to the quinoa & blueberry flavour. He liked them so much, and I was so impressed with their customer service and the quality of the product that I'm going to order some. Hopefully they'll be available to buy at our pet store before too long. Thanks Sarah!