Friday, October 22, 2010

Freyja is 6 months old today!

It's hard to believe that our little puppy is six month old today....

She was so itty bitty.

She's still pretty small, but definitely has developed a personality that is all her own... and still has a lot of growing up to do...

Wrestling with the rug
Sound asleep and snoring away...

And here's a little sneak peak of Freyja and how she feels about wearing her Halloween costume:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving

The Turkey, finally done.
 It's finally fall... and in Canada, that means thanksgiving! I, however, have never cooked a turkey in my life, let alone a full thanksgiving meal. The first thing I did, perhaps a habit I picked up from my mom, was make a list of EVERYTHING I was going to need. So, a week before thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I do our weekly grocery shopping trip... Only to find that the store we usually go to doesn't have quite a few of the things we need.

One thing I noticed after moving up here is that quite a few of the grocery stores, especially the ones closest to us, are about the size of a drug store. In the states, all of the grocery stores are huge. And you can always find everything you need and then some. But here? No. We frequently have to go to 2 or more stores to find everything we need.

Boyfriend carving the turkey
So, after our first grocery store, I'm still missing turkey bags, poultry seasoning, stuffing meant for inside of the turkey and the ingredients for green bean casserole. What grocery store selling turkeys for thanksgiving doesn't have poultry seasoning and non-stove top stuffing? Apparently Fresh Co. So, we easily find poultry seasoning and stuffing at our next stop, but no turkey bags and no French's Fried Onions, which has the recipe for green bean casserole on the back. We probably went down the same two aisles looking for these two things 10 times each. Finally, I make the boyfriend ask, because I don't like to ask anyone about anything. The guy tells us to look on the same aisles, but gives us the location of where we should find what we're looking for. We find the turkey bags; there is only one brand, not the brand I know of and they are on top of the aisle. Not on the top shelf, the top. I'm not sure how I was supposed to know to look there and I wonder how Canadians cook their turkeys without a turkey bag (which is the only way I ever remember our turkeys being cooked). Next, it's another ten trips down the same aisle looking for French's Fried Onions. Only, they aren't there. The boyfriend asks again. The employee takes us to where they should be; they aren't there. He finally takes us to the Asian food aisle and finds some bag that has fried onions, but not French's. I call my mom for the recipe, but she's not home. I try to look it up on my phone, only to not have service in the massive store. I guess what the recipe is, and luckily I was right.

Table set

Thanksgiving Monday rolls around, and we have everything we need; I just have to figure out how to cook this turkey that has been taking up my whole fridge the past two days defrosting. I call my grandma, our resident turkey expert to figure out what I need to do. I'm not entirely sure what I'd have done without her help.

It was an ordeal, but at least I'll know what to do next time this rolls around... for us, that's about a month away.
The Credit River
 Last weekend, while the dog and boyfriend were still sleeping, I started looking for some place to take a walk. We usually just walk Freyja around our neighborhood. But, we're right off the QEW, literally, like I can see the concrete sound wall from our driveway. And the compression breaks of those big trucks tends to freak Freyja out.

I do a bit of research and find this trail, that now for the life of me I can't remember, that runs right next to the Credit River. So we drive over to Erindale Park, lattes in hand, hoping it's not just a bike trail like most of the sites say. It was a gorgeous day and I was quite surprised to see that once you were on the trail, you didn't even feel like you were in the city. The boyfriend was focused on all the fisherpeople (there were women too and I do try my best to be PC), who were fishing for salmon which run this time of year. We didn't see anyone actually catch a fish, but we did see a few dead fish (courtesy of Freyja and her nose) that had likely already spawned and the boyfriend was quite jealous.
Freyja leaping for a cookie

 Freyja did pretty well, although she was pretty terrified of every dog (thanks to the husky next door), bike and stroller. I ended up buying her a harness to use when we walk her after this; it'll be way easier to pull her along when you don't have to feel guilty when she starts coughing from pulling her so much.

Freyja finally gets her 2nd wind towards the end

At one point, I saw a yorkie, who wasn't any bigger than her, coming down the path and turned to Freyja and said, "If you're scared of this little thing coming down the path, I don't think you have the right to call yourself a dog anymore..." Freyja just looked at me confused, as usual and the boyfriend started laughing. However, as the yorkie and it's owners neared, she just cowered and hid behind our legs. Hopefully taking her on a walk like this regularly will make her less afraid of other dogs; especially ones that are about her size. She loves people, though, especially little kids, so we do have to stop fairly often so she can say hi and everyone can comment on how little, cute, soft, etc... she is. The trail is actually quite long (12 km/7.5 mi), so we only did about 3.5 miles, but Freyja made it the whole way!
Back at the beginning

We definitely plan on making this a weekly weekend event, though. As long as its "warm" enough that I can still feel my fingers.

We'll be carving pumpkins, and likely brewing and knitting, this weekend, so stay tuned for some more photos!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I've been gone awhile...

I just realized today that it's been over a month since my last blog posting... I started school about a month ago, and it has literally taken over my life...

First Cowl
Other than having what seems like no spare time (something I always had when I was in college), I've been doing a bit of knitting when I have a bit of time. For some reason, I've been really into cowls lately; I wear a lot of scarves, but in the colder weather when scarves are necessarily bulkier, I hate how massive they feel. What I didn't know was that they were a fad some decades ago when I tried to explain to my mom what I was knitting.
 After I finished the first cowl, I started on a second, but it wasn't quite what I wanted... So I decided to create my own pattern; something I've never been great at.... It's a really simple cabled pattern but I decided on a provisionary cast-on and finished with a kitchner stitch so I could make it a mobius as well; this way, it keeps my neck really warm, but it doesn't get in the way of my face or chin.  I haven't had a chance to wear it yet so I'm postponing sewing in the ends as long as I possibly can. I'll try posting some more photos and the pattern in my next post.

I've also been knitting socks like crazy... They've always taken me way too long to justify finishing, but I've actually been able to get a pair done for myself and and I'm almost done with a pair for the bf. I prefer to keep socks simple, so it's just the basic magic loop pattern.

Freyja napping on the back of the couch in a sweater
 I've also knit a few dog sweaters for Freyja. It's getting colder here and she's definitely not used to it. The problem is, the majority of dog sweater patterns are created for dogs that are proportional, but miniature dachshunds are anything but proportional. I found some fairly inexpensive acrylic/wool chunky yarn that doesn't feel like plastic and knit up two different sweater patterns that are designed to better fit her little odd shaped body. One is intended to look like a fisherman's sweater and the other (pictured to the left) is done in a brioche rib, an interesting new stitch I picked up when I was trying to design my cowl.
Salt and pepper shakers

I also haven't blogged since I won Lisa @ Suburban Retreat's Giveaway! In honor of (Canadian) Thanksgiving, Lisa gave away a fall/thanksgiving tablecloth, salt and pepper shakers, fall candles and a gift card to Michaels (for yarn, of course!). I was honored to win and it made for a great addition to our first Canadian Thanksgiving!

Fall candles

Canadian Thanksgiving has always been a weird thing to me. My grandma, who is Canadian, often had a dinner in honor of Canadian Thanksgiving, but to me it was just that, a dinner. "Real" Thanksgiving isn't until late November. But I had my first opportunity to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. I'll make sure to get a blog up about that interesting adventure some time later this week....

Until next time.....