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Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Great White Way (Snow, Chocolate and Porcelain)

No, not the White Way of Delight, like in Anne of Green Gables, but our very own white way of more snow.  Sorry I haven't been diligent about updating the blog, but between getting that cake ready for delivery and battling a serious head cold, I haven't had much time or inclination for writing.  Here are some photos of the lovely icicles hanging off the back porch and two visitors that we happened to get photos of.

Shot looking through one of the big icicles.

The first fox I've seen on our property.

And then the friend shows up, too!

Heathcliffe was nowhere to be seen!

In answer to some questions about the cake itself:

The Credit Union ordered it as they were hosting "children's day" which is part of the Winter Carnival in the town of Kensington where I work.  I had previously offered to make a baby shower cake for one of my co-workers, but it had already been ordered, but they gave Ron and I a chance to show our fledgling cake skills for the Winter Carnival.  The cake you saw on the previous post was the result.  Here are a few pictures of the process:

Decorations in progress

My cute little white chocolate snow people.

Adding Cookies and Cream filling!

Finished Tree

Dirty icing the toboggan hill.
Yes, I think I'm, rocking the pink snowflake pajama bottoms!  I might need to invest in baker's whites if I'm to continue, as I'm coated in splotches of butter cream, food colouring and powdered sugar!  We only charged cost as this was our first cake, here on the Island.  We're not sure if you can actually make a living out of cake making here.  As I've mentioned, Islanders are pragmatic and economical...they think a sheet cake with butter cream roses is just as good as my cake.  (Well really, it comes down to flavour and if the cake tastes good and looks okay, how can you argue?)
In other news, our bathroom is as gutted as a room can be...I'll prove it:
The hated shower, now gone
(The closet is now a foot further to the right, but I haven't taken a picture of that yet.)

Where the tub had been

Once a toilet
Actually, it's even more gutted than that, as the floors have been remove and a lot of the wall has also been pulled down to allow for moisture resistant wall board to go up and better patch jobs to be done, etc.  Ron has been sistering up boards to the floor joists to get the floor level so we can install a larger shower, a big soaker tub and b-e-a-utiful 1' by 2' tiles on.  So I guess this is phase two of the bathroom, we decided not to draw it out with a phase three.
To those of you wondering, we are indeed getting sick of the snow.  If it isn't snowing, it's usually windy and blowing the snow back in to the spaces we've already dug out.  There are moments, like today, where the sun is shining and the wind is calm and it's actually gorgeous and peaceful and we don't have a complaint in the world.  (Of course, we just spent two hours shovelling out the front walkway so we can take delivery of our bathroom fixtures this week.  We couldn't use the GM, as the snow drift was five feet high and about the same length.)

Apparently we'll forget all about winter once summer the locals tell us, but I have my doubts.  I don't think it's physically possible for all the snow to melt until well in to September, but I'd be happy to eat my words.  Take care, All!  We miss you.

PS Work is going fine.  The woman I'm covering for had a little girl on the 10th of February and  the lady that is retiring had her last day on Friday.  The branch is very sad about losing her and I have to say she is a lovely lady who I'll miss as well.  That's it for tales from the Island (very Canadian - red in the summer, white in the winter!)  Lots of love!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

If I Knew You Were Coming, I'd Have Baked a Cake!

Oh, but wait...we did!  Here's photos of our first cake order:
I'm going to post more pictures of production, etc, but wanted to show off the results first.  We're still waiting for the taste verdict to come in, but we think the cake looks pretty cool.   It was a chocolate mocha cake with cookies and cream filling.  Everything on it was edible except the sign posts and tree trunks.  Ron came up with the idea and I made the cake and decorations.  We worked on building the cake and laying the fondant together and the doing the finishing work.  It was stressful for me and and exercise in patience for Ron.  I've suddenly become quite neurotic!  As always, you can click on the photos to enlarge.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snowmageddon Rages On! Tales from the Snow Belt.

Have you ever wondered to yourself "What have I gotten myself in to?"  Then you'll be well acquainted with how we're feeling currently.  Another Nor'easter stormed through over Tuesday evening & with the warmer temperatures (no snickering!) the snow was classic sculpting snow.  Heavy (with a bit of an icy crust) and drifting up to the three foot mark in places - 25cm of snow they said.  S'truth!  (That means places that had already been cleared of snow, some of our piles are seven feet high or so.)

We called in reinforcements (aka Cory) when we couldn't get the Green Monster out from the out building, but through some obscene (and dare I say sadistic) miracle, later in the day the GM cooperated and the troops were called back to the barracks.  Half way through clearing the driveway (not quite to the end of course) the darn thing needed a fill up so Ron went in to warm up (I had returned home by that time) and I went to get the gas canister.  (Yes, we actually have one of those.)  Fast forward 15 minutes (max)!  Ron goes to fire up the GM and the throttle lever snaps (yes, the BRAND NEW one.)  Desperate to get the machine back to the out building, Ron used a screw driver to up the throttle to get the thing to start and it finally turned over (thank any deity that was involved!), but would it move?  No, we couldn't get the engine to engage the drive tranny.  (Yes...I'm THAT down with the John Deers lingo!) 

After a few minutes of futile pushing and cajoling, Ron managed to get the brake to snap out properly and we had forward motion.  Now, keep in mind that the wind is blowing in 47km an hour gusts and by the time we had the GM turned around a lot of what had been cleared had filled in partially from the drifting snow.

Well, it worked out in the end.  The GM is successfully back in it's home (well most of it...there are some plastic parts from the throttle lever scattered over the property) Ron's taking a hot shower to warm up...he was out for over 3 hours (note temperature above) and dinner is cooking.  The cavalry will be called back in tomorrow to clear the drive with an industrial sized blower (hopefully) and all will be well.  There isn't much snow in the forecast (at least not the last time I looked) so cross your fingers that the worst of it is over.

I hear the cherry blossoms are peeking out in will be a while before we see anything like that, but if I can just get down the drive without needing snow shoes or a shovel, I'll be grateful.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

There's No Business Like Snow Business!

Yup, piled over our heads!

The nice flat edge?  How deep the snow drifted!

I'm sure all of you are tired of hearing about snow, and many of you are wondering why we're still here with the silly amounts of winter that have been dumped on us.  Brace yourselves!  Here's the upcoming forecast for the week (courtesy of
                     Sunday        Monday      Tuesday       Wednesday    Thursday     Friday
E 45 km/h
W 10 km/h
SE 10 km/h
W 30 km/h
S 10 km/h
E 25 km/h

        24Hr Snow     20 - 30 cm   Close to 1 cm  5-10 cm          less than 1 cm      5-10 cm              10+ cm

Yup...they're calling for up to 62 cms of snow from now until Friday.  Ron and I are sharpening the shovels and lubing up the GM.    Back to the "why are you still there?"  When the sun's out it gorgeous.  Think about going up in to the mountains, where everything is coated in snow and you stand in the stillness; surrounded by sparkling crystal snow and the only thing that weighs heavy is the peace that fills the air.  You have to experience it to understand it.  Pictures don't do it justice. (Says the girl getting ready to upload photos!)

On a more homey front, we've started the upstairs bathroom renovations.  Ron has successfully added shut off valves to the shower pipes and ripped out the sad old shower enclosure.  We've selected our tiles and are ordering the rest of the bathroom stuff on Monday...exciting but intimidating!  We have to rip the floor out and re level it, as we've selected a really fantastic grey 24x12 tile for floors and the shower.  (Assuming we can get the floor level enough...)  Pictures to come.

I must go, we're having our first dinner guests tonight, so as most of you know I have lots of prep work to do to get ready.  Miss you all!