Archive for the ‘Hobbies & Fun’ Category

On this, the last long weekend before Christmas, I only managed to get half of the things marked off of my “to do” list. 

“Houseclean the bedroom” – Check.

“Finish curtains for nursery” – Check

“Day of family time with “lives far away” sister-in-law and her brand spanking new baby Lucy” – Check

“Do the same bloody laundry and housework that I do every week and that keeps me from ever getting anything new done” – Check


Mind you, that is not a complete list, only the highlights.  It’s a bit disheartening to get so little done over a four-day weekend, especially when you have a nursery to build in three months with Christmas being smack in the middle.  However, I do frequently remind myself that I am 26 weeks pregnant and that accomplishing anything is pretty good when tying your shoes is becoming slightly problematic.  I wonder how I’ll manage when I am two months bigger.  Yikes. 

Despite the lingering to-do list, we did have an exciting turn of events here in good ole Dell, NB

Eggs!  Yes, eggs from our yet-to-be-named chickens. 


(Do not adjust your screens.  Two of those eggs are blue.)


Of course, this has gone straight to hubby’s head…


… but I suppose that’s okay since he does all the feeding and cleaning. 

‘Omelette a la Free Range’ will be a frequent menu item at Casa Dell (yes, I have noticed the clash of languages there) … hopefully I can tear hubby away from cheering on the chickens long enough to comment.

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I have mentioned before that hubby and I decided to try our hand at hobby farming by purchasing five chicks to use for their eggs. 

Things are going quite well, although hubby deserves all of the credit.  I pretty much just observe them from afar while he keeps them watered and fed and continues to renovate their coop for the coming winter. 

For quite a while now – since the birds started looking like adults and not chicks – there has been one bird that has looked just a little different than the others.  See that extra little “waddle” under the chin?  We weren’t really sure what to make of this but knew that we had time to ponder the anomaly since the birds aren’t mature enough for egg production until at least November. 

Since we have time, let me back up a little to when the little chicks were purchased.  Hubby found an article in the local ‘buy and sell’ paper.  A few weeks later we drove up to this modified trailer that is surrounded by junk that lies on grass that hasn’t seen a mower all year.  (Let me clarify the word ‘modified’ … I don’t mean ‘modified for the better’.  I mean that the trailer had a two-room wooden porch built on the front of it many years ago that is now half fallen down, has holes in the floor, and is full of greasy, smelly junk.Oh, and chicks.  Lots and LOTS of chicks.)

I knocked on the door and this old guy comes out, bent over and limping and with eyebrows arched to the ceiling in suspicion.  I mean, he’s keeping a really close eye on me.  Once he realized why I was there, he entered the back room of the porch to get the chickens that I wanted.  He would pick them out of their cage one by one, turn them over, look at the ball of feathers, and either put them in the box I was taking or grunt and say something like, “I think that one’s a rooster”. 

Very scientific indeed. 

So here we are, many months later, wondering if that one odd-looking chicken just naturally looks a little different than his siblings or if it is, in fact, a rooster.  All wondering came to an end this morning with an IM sent by hubby first thing this morning:

“It is confirmed.  I heard some loud cock-a-doodle-doos this morning as I was walking to the garage.”


You might think this is not the end of the world … and obviously it’s not … but it does mean actual chickens where the eggs for breakfast are supposed to be.  I imagine our neighbors are not likely to find the novelty in early rooster crowing for long either. 

Chances are we will have to get rid of this bird and we’re not quite sure how to do it.  Yeah, the actual mechanics of it are pretty straightforward (axe meets rooster) but going from scrambled-egg-lover to chicken slayer is a pretty big leap. 

If the course of action involves an axe-wielding hubby, I just hope he doesn’t fight back.

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In honor of the first snowfall warning of the season (yeah, I’m serious!), here are some shots of the beautiful foliage in my little corner of the world this time of year.  I hope you have a good monitor. 

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I packed a lunch and went for a long hike out back, near my nan’s woodlot, on trails that mostly looked like this.  It was a labyrinth of four wheeler trails, old logging roads, and some paths we weren’t even sure were trails – some turning left and some turning right and some we made up as we went.  But… we managed to make it out alive (although I did save half of my sandwich just in case, I ended up eating it in the truck on the way home – because being vegetarian makes cannibalism out of the question). 


Those woods had mostly yellows and greens but I did come across this gleaming red beauty. 


I haven’t uploaded pics of the girls lately so here they are in their makeshift hunters orange collars.  They had a blast running through the forest, scaring up partridge (thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump) a couple of times along the way. 

Maggie …

and Nelly …

And on the drive home we stopped for a picture at this spot that my blog-reading cousins will easily recognize. 


The rest of these shots are from a solo walk I took on another day.  I like close up shots and my camera seems to do them really well.  Here are a few of them. 




And a little spider friend.  Not that I particularly like spiders; they do make for interesting photography though. 

It’s a little difficult to time but if you are thinking about a trip to this part of the world, definitely try to make it this time of year. 

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Brian, Ali, Randy, Dave, Blair and I took off Saturday morning, all in our own kayaks, to tackle the south branch of the Miramichi.

It was a beautiful, sunny day.  The run starts out shallow; we had to get out and drag the kayaks in a couple of spots.  Before long the water rises and it’s clear sailing… er, paddling. 

This part of the Miramichi is quite narrow and really bendy … mucho fun in a kayak, that’s for sure!  We came across one spot in particular that really seemed to be a dead end … beaver dam and everything … but we backtracked just a little and maneouvered our way through a narrow (8 feet tops), alder-filled passageway that opened up again in just a minute or two. 

Let’s see… memorable moments:  Brian’s makeshift kayak paddle (yes, that’s duct tape).  Although I didn’t see it, Randy got caught up in a tree that was laying across the stream and dunked in good style (keep an eye out for that sandal, would you?).  Ali got caught up on a rock that spinned her right around backwards (although she remained upright).  We took a hike to the convenience store in Juniper because we had run out of beer.  Oh and my proudest moment… at the very end of the day (notice this is after getting MORE beer), I reached down to pull someone’s kayak ashore, lost my balance, and ended up face first in muck.  Thankfully it wasn’t rocks. 

It was a great day and we’ve all got the bruises and sunburns to prove it! 

(For those of you keeping score, I didn’t tip … Candice 1 Chi 0)

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Heaven is …

… peanut butter and chocolate. 

On the weekend I made this Peanut Butter-Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from the Kraft What’s Cooking magazine.  It was easy to make and everyone loved it. 

Remember that early survivor season where the two girls took their tops off for pb and chocolate?  Yeah?  Well I would be seriously tempted to do the same … no desert island and starvation required!   

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Instead of planting my garden like I should have last night, a few beers on the deck while sitting in the sun translated to heading to the lake for a paddle.  Brian paddled and I took pictures of our friends’ flower gardens that are just starting to bloom.  Here are a few of my favorite ones… the rest are here http://www.sendspace.com/file/ecfasj along with a few kayaking pictures. 

img_4861-blog.jpg  img_4934-blog.jpg  img_4980-blog.jpg  img_4974-blog.jpg  Pink Tulip

The highlight of the evening was the potato gun, something I’ve heard of before but never witnessed.  It’s amazing what a spark and some hairspray will do!  Here are a few pics.  There rest are here  http://www.sendspace.com/file/2e65gx, including a 7-photo sequence where you can see the flight of the potato! 

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Joe, we definitely  need to get this out when you come home this summer!  We already plan to incorporate some sort of potato gun fun into the “Jugs on the Lake” celebration later in July. 

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Last night Brian and I went kayaking with our buddies Randy, Keith, and Dave.  We put in on the Presque Isle Stream just above the Tracey Mills bridge.  Within 12.46 seconds I was wet.  There is a rock right under the bridge that channels the water directly into one of its posts … at the last moment, I was swept into the post and went over.  The darkest part of the bruise on my ego came from just having given Randy pointers on how to get through it.  It was not a difficult spot to maneuver .  <sigh> 

Presque Isle Stream 1 – Candice 0

 The only other time I’ve upset in fast water was last summer on the Nashwaak.  After 4-5 days of rain we decided to tackle it:  Keith in his kayak and Brian and I in a canoe along with Nelly.  I’ve never been in water so fast or so white.  The Nashwaak has some tough rapids but we put in below the toughest of those so that statement is only indicative of my experience level.  The stretches of rapids were incessant, one after the other, but we were doing well to handle them. 

Halfway through this particular set of rapids, I look ahead to see Keith pulling his kayak to shore.  Just as I informed Brian of Keith’s troubles, we hit a rapid and took in a lot of water on the right side.  Whether or not it made a difference, Nelly picked that exact moment to lean to the same side of the boat and over we went.  Now THAT was fast and cold water, immediately taking my breath away.  I remember grabbing onto the side of the canoe at the same time that Nelly grabbed onto me:  a paw on each of my shoulders, holding on for dear life. 

To complete the story, Nelly swam to shore just fine.  Keith and I ended up on what would have been an island in lower water and managed to empty his kayak standing in a foot of water.  Brian emptied our canoe on the shore and then drug it upriver so he could get to the island and give us a hand. 

As we were composing ourselves and our gear, Keith checked his GPS and said, “Folks, we’ve just passed through Hell’s Gates”, a noteworthy set of rapids and the toughest one on our stretch.  Those seven words managed to take some of the sting out of the kick the river had just planted firmly on our asses. 

Nashwaak 1 – Candice 0

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