Thursday, 8 November 2012

Must Buy Album: Tristan Prettyman's Cedar + Gold

Go out and buy this album now. Or just do what I do and download it on iTunes. But pay for it. Because Tristan Prettyman is amazing and this album is just so great. I've had it since Thanksgiving and have listened to it at least once a day, probably more than that. It's more of a break up album than anything, but you don't have to be in that mindset to appreciate it.

My interpretation of the songs:

1. When You Come Down

Poppy. The fighting you do in a relationship where you love them but it seems like it's falling apart. An upbeat take on a very real problem. Trying to figure out if the relationship can ever work with as hard as it is. 

"So it's no wonder my love goes on and on - you were always easy for me. And it's no wonder I knew all along."

2. Unconditionally

Blues/folk. Not entirely sure what's going on here. It's about loving someone unconditionally, but I feel like either he's trying to leave the relationship or isn't sure about getting into it. Whatever, it's gorgeous, I love her voice.

"Like family, like coming home, like forever no matter where you go."

3. Second Chance

Extremely catchy. Bitter breakup song. Going on my repertoire of break up songs, even though I hope NEVER EVER (Taylor Swift) to break up again. 

"If you think that we could be friends, you need to learn how to be a good friend first."

4. Say Anything

A little more melancholy. Breaking up with someone because you need to, because it's best for both of you. But it still hurts everyone involved. 

"I would tell you that I love you even when it didn't show. I would tell you that I love you, baby - by now I hope you know."

5. The Rebound

Hilarious song. I love this. We've all been there. Or maybe we haven't, but I have. Rebound!! A little shocking, but in a great, in your face kind of way. Lots of cliched, amusing lines. Just a funny song. 

"Gotta knock it off, gotta go to bed. You and your banana stuck in my head."

6. Quit You

I was really hoping this song said "Shake weight break it or quit you." Because anything with a shake weight in it is funny. But no dice. Probably better, since it wouldn't make any sense, considering the song is about being in love with someone who doesn't seem to love you back and not being able to stop.

"But I've never loved the way I love you and I don't think my heart has ever been so true."

7. Never Say Never

One of the prettier songs on the album. The background vocals are just so gorgeous in this. She's singing about her ex and how he just seems to have forgotten the relationship and gone back to the way he was before they ever dated. It's questioning and a little sad.

"Some days I still feel the same and my love it still remains, wish I could start a fire in the pouring rain."

8. My Oh My

A bit darker than most of the album. Along the same lines as 'Quit You', but totally different feel. A relationship that is broken up but the guy keeps coming back and sucking her into it. She can't understand why she can't just stay away from him. Amen, sister.

"And I know that you're no good for me and it makes no sense at all. Still I keep coming back for more."

9. I Was Gonna Marry You

I really like the cadence of this song. It's another breakup song (poor girl), about not understanding why he got out of their very serious relationship.

"I gotta stay as far away as I can get cause a part of me hasn't left."

10. Glass Jar

Another song very similar to Never Say Never about a guy who just doesn't seem to acknowledge that they were ever together. Very delicate and pretty and sad. 

"You got the whole world watching and everyone's attention. Turn your head and you never even mention us."

11. Deepest Ocean Blue

Second Chance, only written from her perspective about wanting a man she broke it off with. Probably because it's from her perspective, it's much nicer and sadder. Very regretful and apologetic. 

"You were a match and I was gasoline and I was sure you'd be the end of me. So I killed the flame and walked away."

12. Come Clean

This is a different perspective, but given the rest of the album, probably also about leaving a relationship. The lyrics talk about being able to let things go in a positive way. 

"When it comes, let it pass. Let the first rain of the season wash away our past. I know, I know that we can."

13. Bad Drug

In the same lines of Quit You, but dark. I think this is about the addictive nature of some relationships and how hard it is to shake needing someone. 

"Give it to me in the morning, by the evening know I'll need it again."

It's just such a killer album. Even if it sounds negative, it really isn't. You can't help but sing along to this one - check it out!!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween 2012 - Caveman and Sabre-Toothed Cat

Now that our Halloween parties are over, I can put up instructions on how to make our costumes! These were SO fun to wear. Not as much fun to make, but I'm hoping anyone reading this will start more than three days in advance. Three days is a push, to get costumes like this done.

Materials List for Caveman:
  • 2 metres of fur - I bought a half yard of snow leopard, a half yard of cheetah, and two yards of tiger to make both costumes. Cost: $36.61 at Fabricland
  • Sculpey III clay in white and granite - I wound up buying two 8 oz packages of white to do all the teeth and bones for the caveman and sabre-toothed cat costumes, and a 2 oz package of the granite for the spearhead. Cost: approximately $38.00 at Michael's. 
  • Leather cording for the necklace and the spear - Cost: Approximately $5.00 at Michael's.
  • Thick leather thongs for the waistpiece of the 'skirt' and the spear - Cost: Approximately $14.00 at Michael's.
  • Long, straight stick for the spear - Found by Tim
  • Thick, knobby branch for the club - Found by Tim
  • Fake skin or liquid latex and fake blood for cuts - Cost: $6.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart
To-Do List:
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. 
  2. Form the teeth and bone for the necklace out of the white clay. We made them the same size as the front teeth from my helmet/head. Four little ones, two bigger ones, one bone. I kept thinking the bone looked like a little caveman bowtie. Use a kitchen skewer (like for making kebabs) to poke holes through the pieces where you want them strung. We left the skewers in while cooking them to make sure the holes stayed big enough for the leather cording. 
  3. Form the head of the spear. Tim looked up pictures online of spearheads to come up with his and it turned out amazing. 
  4. Bake the bones, teeth, and spearhead for the recommended amount of time. For the white, I believe it was fifteen minutes per 1/4" of thickness, while the granite was 30 minutes per 1/4".
  5. Cut the fur into jagged pieces as long as you'd like the 'skirt' to hang. If you have a sewing machine, use it to attach all the furs together in a nice random arrangement. If you do not have a sewing machine, like me, get ready for an annoying hand-sewing process. I sewed all of them to one piece of ribbon I had, just to make it a little more sturdy. On the outside, tag on the leather thongs so that it looks like it's held on by that. I just stitched around the leather like belt loops because stitching through it would have been impossible. The skirt is done at this point (we held it together with pins, you can get more technical and add buttons or ties if you like. It would probably be sturdier. The chest/shoulder piece was Tim's addition because he felt naked in the skirt. It's just a leftover piece of fabric wrapped around him and tucked into the skirt. 
  6. When the clay has all baked and cooled, you can string the pieces for the necklace onto the leather cord and wrap the spearhead to the stick. To make the expandable necklace, I used these instructions. For the spearhead, Tim's cut some kind of a notch into the stick and then super-wrapped the spearhead. It looked amazing. 
  7. For the cuts the first night, we used fake skin to make the sabre-tooth cuts on Tim's arm. He did NOT like that I actually scratched him to get the placement right. After laying down the marks, I just gobbed on the fake skin. Once it dried I covered it up with makeup - any foundation or concealer will do as long as it mostly matches their skin tone. Once that has dried a little too, VERY carefully take scissors and cut the scratches into the fake skin, being careful not to get real skin. I'll admit that I scored Tim a little in a few places. Once the cuts are open, I ran a dark lipstick over them and filled them with fake blood, leaving a little extra to drip down his arm. 
  8. There you go! Caveman!

Leather cording and thong attaching spearhead to spear

 Caveman necklace

Ribbon on the inside for structure

Leather thong on the outside

Materials List for Sabre-Toothed Cat:
  • 2 metres of tiger fur
  • Sculpey III clay in white
  • Black pants
  • Black long sleeve shirt
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Black lipstick
  • Old baseball cap, sized to fit your head
  • Full roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Hot glue gun with LOTS of glue sticks - I think I used between 15-20
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Newspaper ripped into thin strips
To-Do List:
  1. Form the teeth, eyes, nose, cheek pads and ears from the clay. For the teeth I made four small teeth, two medium teeth, and two very large teeth. The eyes were slightly smaller than golf balls. For the nose and ears, look up pictures of tigers and form them to match. For the cheeks, I use a toothpick to poke little holes where the whiskers would go, only I couldn't find anything to make the whiskers out of. Really high test fishing line might have worked. Bake at 275 for the recommended amount of time, about 15 minutes per 1/4" of thickness. I found the eyes and the largest teeth to take an hour. 
  2. Paint the ears black, then attach fur to the tops. Paint the nose black. Put little black dots around the whisker holes on the cheek pieces. Paint the eyes - I used a few different colours of nail polish to do this. 
  3. Cut pieces of tiger fur to match the front and back of your shirt. You will actually have to cut it slightly larger than your shirt because your shirt will probably stretch and my fur did not at all. You don't want to be busting at the seams! Sew the pieces to the front and back of your shirt.
  4. To make the head, first use aluminum foil to form a rough tiger head shape. Use hot glue to keep it all together. Liberally. 
  5. Once the aluminum is to your liking (it doesn't have to be perfect, using the tiger fur on the head covers a lot of sins), cover this will a layer of paper mache made with a pretty thick flour/water mix. Mine was probably slightly more flour than water, but mix it up to your liking. Dip the newspaper strips and use them to cover the whole head, shaping it to the aluminum foil. Do not put too much of anything inside the rim that will sit against your head. It will chafe. I had to put my paper mached head into the oven to dry because I didn't have enough time. I just turned it on at the very lowest temperature and watched it carefully.
  6. When the paper mache is dry, poke/bash/cut out holes for the eyeballs and a trough for the nose to sit in. I painted the whole head black just in case there were any gaps in the fur. Then, starting at the nose and working towards the back of the head, hot glue the fur onto the head, stretching it tight. This will be (as the hole head is) a procedure with a lot of adjustments. I pushed little balls of fabric under the fur fabric above the eye holes to kind of create more of a pronounced eyebrows shape. And I cut slits in the fabric and slid the ears underneath before attaching them with hot glue. I also put the nose underneath the fur on the snout so it looked more natural. 
  7. Once the fabric is all hot glued and taut against the head, add the eyes, cheek pads, and teeth. Your head is done!
  8. For face makeup, I just did really intense cheek contouring and really, REALLY big cat eyes. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

October Manicures

Since we're coming up to the end of the month and I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that this manicure stays good until the 31st, I thought I'd do a recap of my manicures this month. I love how I went from having basically no fingernails this spring to now doing practically weekly manicures. I love how my boyfriend is a gigantic nag and made that possible.

However, I hate that he continues to nag whenever I put my fingers near my mouth.

First off, I did my nails for Thanksgiving under Tim's suggestion to do something fall-like. I know he meant 'Paint them brown or some other solid colour' because my crazy nail art makes him shake his head. I did try this, starting out with a base coat of Maybelline Color Show's new Auburn Ablaze. But then I thought it was boring and wound up with this:

The red centre stripe is a thin coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's Red Carpet, and then the tip is done in Sephora by OPI's Caliente Coral. 

Last weekend I had Lindsay and Cory's wedding and could not decide what to wear. But I saw a tutorial for galaxy nails on Beautylish's website (go here) and wanted to at least try it out. They turned out AMAZING!!

This manicure is a bit of a labour of love. I always use two coats of OPI's Nail Envy base coat on my nails before anything else. Originally I started doing this to keep dark polishes from staining my nails, and then fell in LOVE with this product. My nails are super hard now, and I really do think it's entirely this product. It has a nice matte finish if you want to wear it on it's own. When I'm leaving my nails bare (doesn't happen often), I usually put on a top coat just to add some shine to it. Over that I layered a coat of the black, it's Elm Line's Candy. Weird name for a black polish. Then it starts getting complicated, although the colour coats are all super thin and dry easily. The tutorial uses a sponge, but I don't own any. I just used a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover and then blotted on a tissue. First I laid down a little spot in Maybelline Color Show's Avante Green, and then another spot of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's Blue It. I didn't think the green was prominent enough, so I shaded a little bit on top of the green with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's Ivy League. Then I added in the hot pink, which is Sally Hansen HD's Digital. For the glitter, I put down a spot of Nicole by OPI's Rainbow in the S-Kylie (from their Kardashian line). Then I put a VERY thin layer of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's Disco Ball. Finally, I finished the whole thing off with a layer of OPI Top Coat.

This manicure made me SO happy. Every time I looked at it, it made me smile. I don't really think anyone else GOT it. Tim thought it was hilarious. But this is my favourite manicure I've ever done. It just turned out so much better than I thought it ever would. 

Finally, I did my nails yesterday for Halloween. I'll try to do a post later about my costume (which has been a LOT of work) but these nails are my interpretation of claws. 

Along with my usual base coat and top coat, this is a layer of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's (I have a lot of these polishes because they are CHEAP and they're actually a really nice, thick, heavily pigmented polish) White On. I used my new Orly Detailer Brush (more info also to come) to paint the outer lines of the triangles and then just filled them in. The colour is Essie's Good as Gold, which is one of my favourite polishes. 

I already have some ideas for November's nails!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Enforced Healthy Snacking - Riceworks Rice Crisps

I have a weird relationship with food. Growing up, my self-employed mom worked a lot, so dinner was generally convenience food. We avoided meal times at my grandparents' because neither of my grandmothers could cook. I'm sure it can't be true, but all I remember eating through high school was sugar cereal, dry pasta, and pizza from the local pizza place. Shockingly, I was not a whale. Good genetics, I guess.

For all that I now love food and adore cooking, I'm not sure my actual eating habits have really gotten any better. How I eat at home is one thing. But at my desk job, I'm kind of brutal. I use caffeine to help me concentrate on spreadsheets and I crave salt all the time.

Strangely, Tim has a weird anti-chips prejudice. His favourite snack food is tortillas and salsa, but actual chips are another story. As I understand it, his one ex would eat her way through an entire bag of chips in a sitting (not that I'm judging, give me a bag of Miss Vickie's and just let me go) and it was a point of contention in their relationship. Chips are now some sort of special area of disgust for him.

As much as I love chips, this is still a step up from MY ex, who hated cheese. I should have known that relationship would never work.

In Tim's well-intentioned, neurotic world, he will not buy me chips. Instead, he came home the other day all triumphant, pulling two bags of Riceworks Rice Crisps out of the shopping bags.

He had bought a bag of the sea salt and a bag of sweet chili. Since I tend to like my chips unflavoured best, I took the sea salt ones to work first. I was seriously underwhelmed by these. They were only mildly salty and the rice texture didn't really work for me. It was something like breeding a rice cake and a tortilla chip, with the flavour leaning more towards the rice cake. 

Because I wasn't hugely fond of the first bag, it took me a few weeks to venture into the sweet chili bag. I wish I had tried this one first!! These things are so addictive! The texture is still the same, but the seasoning is awesome. Just a little hot. More savoury and salty. They're delicious. Even my boss, who generally shies away from anything even remotely "healthy," could not stop eating these. I think I'm going to have to try some other flavours now!! 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Best Things Yesterday

Up and running before the sun rises on Little Lake

  1. My morning run feeling great, even when my knee started hurting a little bit. 
  2. Day 1 of month end going well enough that I finished all my Day 1 tasks and got started on Day 2. 
  3. Eating mozzarella cheese off the ball in the car with Tim on the way to Costco as I told him about my day. 
  4. Our new fan (from Costco) that has a 'natural wind' setting that changes whether it's blowing slow or fast by itself. 
  5. Angel's cold fingers on my face when she threaded my eyebrows. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Sunday Recap - Canada Day

It was a good thing our time at the cottage before Canada Day was fairly relaxing, because we got right back into the swing of things once we got home. We got up at a decent time Sunday morning and had breakfast on the front porch as per usual. Our landlady, Joan, and her partner, Max, were over doing some yardwork, and popped over to have a bit of a sitdown with us. 

Tim read a study some time ago that stated that people with red doors are happier and more adventurous. He's been wanting to paint our door red since we moved in, but I wouldn't let him until he talked to Joan - Tim is more of an ask for forgiveness person than an ask for permission one. While joan was sitting with us on the porch, he decided to broach the subject and the conversation went something like this:

Tim:    Joan, what would you think if I painted the front door red?
Joan:   Well, I just don't think I'd like that!
Max:   Oooo, I think that would look sharp!
Joan:   Really? I don't think it would look good. Why do you want to do that?
Tim:    Do you know what a red door means?
Joan:   Yes, I know what it means! (Thinking about the red light district in Amsterdam, I believe.)
Laura: (Laughing) No, no, no - not that! Tim read a study -
Tim:    I read a study that says that people with red doors are generally happier and more adventurous!
Joan:   Oh, well . . . 
Max:   I think it would look sharp!
Joan:   Well . . . I guess . . . If you're willing to paint it back to white if we don't like it - then go ahead. 

Tim almost immediately got up and went downstairs to get tape to start taping the door. I think him and Joan had a conversation about him being all gungho about it, but the next thing I knew he had the car keys and had left. When Joan asked me where he had gone off to, I told her, "He's gone to get the red paint for the door." She was a little taken aback and, laughing, asked, "Does he want to get it done before I change my mind?"

Whether she was going to change her mind or not, Tim had the door taped off, off the hinges, painted, and rehung by midafternoon. I think the colour is perfect - the deep red really looks nice against the white house. There are only three small problems. One is that he used glossy paint on the steel door, and it has a bunch of damage at the bottom. The gloss seems to show the damage a lot more than the old flat white paint did. Also, the first floor (but not the second floor) gingerbread trim is painted a pale minty green which just looks a bit odd. Maybe that's an eventual summer project for Tim, to have him paint that out white, or maybe even a different colour. Tim does like colour. Finally, the plastic trim around the window pane has weathered to a dull yellow and looks a little icky against the red. I'd like for it to be painted out white again at some point. 

Door coming off hinges.

Door being taped off (with Winnie the Pooh wrapping paper, no less.)

Starting the paint application!

Gotta love Tremclad.

Almost there!

Finished! The colour looks a bit brighter here in full sun than it does now that it's hung on the house. 

Talk about a perfect Canada Day project! White house, red door, big Canadian flags - we were so patriotic! Of course, once Tim gets started, he doesn't really stop - so he decided to wash the front of the house. Some Vim, water, and a bit of scrubbing later and the front looked SO much cleaner. 

Summer cleaning!

In the meantime, I made a cherry cheesecake (again with the patriotic colours) for the potluck we were going to at Blaire's in the evening. 

Cheesecake in (gasp) the stand mixer! Inaugural use - by me, at least. Angel had already used it a few times. 

Mmm, cheesecake filling!

 To continue the productivity and patriotism surge, I decided to give myself a Canadian themed mani/pedi on the porch. Tim was keeping me company, just having a drink and people watching. I had finished my toes and was starting to work on my fingernails when he told me to check out the guy that had just gone down the wharf. Tim was exclaiming over the length of his shorts, which were baggy like swimshorts but went all the way down to the middle of his shins. I probably made a noncommittal grunting noise before going back to my manicure. It was only a couple of minutes later that Tim told me that a guy had just jumped off his bike and slid into the water. At this, he got up and went down to the edge of the lawn. Him getting up interested me enough to get up and check it out from the edge of the porch. I was there in time to see a woman throw the life preserver on the far side near the boat launch.

At this, Tim asked me if I thought he should put him bathing suit on and go check it out. I - obviously the cynic - said that she was probably just being an idiot (like quite a few people in Peterborough) and throwing it in for fun. He said no, that there were people diving. Again, I said that they had probably just lost something. Complete denial, that's obviously what I'm good at. Then we watched a couple of people hurl themselves in off of the boat launch dock, and Tim ran inside and got changed. All of this probably happened in under a minute, which was within three or four minutes of us having watched the original guy with the long swimshorts go onto the pier. Tim was in the water diving with a dozen other people, including the guy's sister. Tim was even talking to his sister, who confirmed that it was her brother who went down, wearing long swimming trunks. And that he was 30, the same age as Tim. Apparently he dove off the wharf towards his sister, who was standing on the dock at the boat launch. He came up once and yelled 'Help!' before going down for good. There were lots of people in the water diving for him and police and emergency services were there with two boats within the first five to ten minutes.

Divers, kayakers, and emergency services looking for the man underwater.

 It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, so I can't begin to imagine what it felt like for Tim. Once the police had both of the boats in the water they asked the divers to get out of the water. When Tim came back to stand with me, he was a little weird. He said that every time he dove, he was praying that he'd find the guy, while simultaneously scared that he would. It was obvious to us at this point that the guy wouldn't be successfully recovered. It was well after twenty minutes after he went in.  

Crowds of people gathering around the search area. 

I think it shook Tim because he saw the whole thing - from the guy testing the water temperature with his foot to the guy's sister treading water, obviously in shock herself. I couldn't believe how fast it happened - how does a fit-looking 30-year-old man just drown in 20 feet of water, surrounded by people, on a beautiful summer day? 

We went to the potluck BBQ at Blaire's, once Tim had showered and changed. At that point they still hadn't found the body. We came home around 7:30 to police tape strung across our front lawn and a crowd of people watching the recovery divers. 

Police tape in front of our house. 

They did find Charles Urquhart's body just after 8:00. The divers found him, right under where Tim and the man's sister had been diving. It's not surprising that they didn't find him, in 20 feet of murky water, but it is heartbreaking. What I don't understand is why there weren't divers with the initial emergency response. We live in the Kawartha LAKES region - there are multiple drownings each year. They had two boats, why couldn't they have a scuba suit and at least one trained diver? It was hours before the recovery divers got there. Perhaps if a diver had been in the water within the first ten or twenty minutes, they could have found him right away. 

There still haven't been results released as to what caused his drowning. Tim's theory is that his overlong swimshorts came down when he dived and tangled in his legs, causing him to panic and drown. Swimming cramps have also been suggested, as well as drugs and/or drinking. Whatever happened, all my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Backyard gathering at Blaire's!

Heading to the potluck was a good distraction from the weirdness Tim and I were both feeling regarding the drowning. It was a lot of fun to see everyone at Blaire's. There was absolutely TONS of food, lots of sitting and chatting, and a little bit of Beersbie. I had three memorable moments. 

The first was when Blaire, trying to get all the barbeque orders under control, asked Tim if he wanted a sausage, hot dog, or burger. Tim wanted to know how big the sausages were, so Blaire told him to ask Josh. Cue Tim yelling out: "Hey Josh - how big is your sausage?" And cue general hilarity and lewd jokes. 

Also related to the barbequing was the second funny moment for me (or the second standout, at least - lots of things are funny in my group of friends). I had gone out to pick up a little extra mix for Blaire and came back to Mandy trying to convince her youngest son, Toby, that just because the hot dog had black flakes on it doesn't mean it's burnt. When I came in he was trying to grab the hot dog off of the plate and throw it in the sink while Mandy was trying to put condiments on it for him. Apparently the only way he eats hot dogs is boiled due to his preference for unburned meat. Poor kid - char is the best part! 

Finally, I went in to get my own food sometime later to find Carley giggling like a schoolgirl. Rachel, Caitlin, and Mandy were in the kitchen as well and we all wanted to know what she had done. Having found Blaire's phone, she had changed Blaire's Facebook status to, "I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! Shout it from the roof tops ppl!!!" Of course within minutes it had multiple happy congratulations and teasing comments. Given that her phone was sitting on the counter beside the sink, in the middle of a pile of food and where people had been making drinks and spilling stuff all evening, I took her phone and put it out of the way in the living room. My primary objective was to make sure it didn't get spilled on (it would have been just Blaire's luck if it did), but it suited me just fine as it probably made it take longer for Blaire to come upon it. Haha, more time for the comments to pile up. 

After everyone had finished up at Blaire's, they came down to our place (the search for the body was complete by then and the crime scene tape removed) for drinks, music, and fireworks. A few of Tim's friends showed up as well, so it was a really nice mixed group. It was a good showing of how our house works for entertaining - there was a group around the dining room table, another on the couch, one on the porch, and a final group on the lawn. Over the course of the evening we probably had over twenty people. 

What are fireworks without sparklers?


Plus we had to take the ubiquitous pictures with the slingshot chairs in front of the house. Me and Rach.

Rach and I.

Nate and Tim.

And Tim and Nate!

Happy Canada Day!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

On Vacation - The Things Your Parents Don't Approve Of

I should have filmed the first three minutes of Dean telling Tim not to sit on the railway because he was going to break the glass and it would be expensive to fix. Instead I only filmed this, which his parents (thankfully) never actually did see. Brat.

On Vacation - Cottage Weekend!

Hey everyone! Sorry about the hiatus again - I had last week off from work, so Tim and I were busy gallivanting around the countryside. Once we got back, I was just a little overwhelmed by the number of pictures we took! But I've got a lot of them downloaded and sorted out now, so be prepared to be jealous of our amazing week.

Sunset on Kasshabog Lake

Dean and Wendy rented a cottage through Tim's last week of teaching and my last week before holidays. Luckily they found one within a half hour's drive of Lakefield on Kasshabog Lake, so Tim and I were able to go up Thursday night after his last day and I just went to work Friday from there. For future reference, one should NEVER drive behind Tim on cottage roads. Everything was so dry and he kicks up a huge dust cloud. My black car is now a dull shade of dingy charcoal. (Still, actually, since I haven't taken the time to wash it since we got back.)

Wendy and Dean enjoying some lakeside sun.

God, I love this face. 

A comparison:

Exhibit A: Rollwagen, Tim - A Tutorial

Exhibit B: Rollwagen, Dean - A Tutorial

Please notice the similarities in hand gestures here - classic Rollwagen Tutorial demonstration. Any time they break this out, feel free to let your mind wander while occasionally nodding and making interested noises. A Rollwagen Tutorial can cover many areas, however, perhaps even one you're interested in. Examples include how to cook something, how to build something, how to properly complete some feat of outdoorsmanship. The list could go on and on. 

Chris and Tim sitting lakeside

Thursday night was fairly low key. There was a lot of dock sitting and dock drinking. Some swimming and paddleboating. I went to bed early because I had to get up for work. Tim, Chris, Matt, and Teri all stayed up late around the fire drinking. 

How many Rollwagen men does it take to barbeque? Depends on how many are there. If one, then one. If four, then all four. 

Delicious results - ribs and steak!

Friday night, being our last night there, was a bit more hectic. Tim's friend Hugh had stopped over with his gorgeous pontoon boat to take us on a tour of the lake. He grew up with a cottage here and had lots of interesting stories about the various cottages and the lake itself. There were squatters and shipwrecks, islands for burning and islands with cottages that languished with never a visit from the owners. There were huge mansions and tiny little backwoods shacks. It was also interesting that we were able to see dust sheets across the water from the mine on the north shore of the lake. I originally thought it was mist on the water. Apparently the mine operator is supposed to water down the area, but it's just been so dry. Having worked for a roads department back in Georgian Bluffs (ah, the good ol' days), I know just how hard it is to keep that dust down in hot weather.

On the pontoon boat with Hugh - constant entertainment!

Jumping rock - Tim's daring dive!

Hugh showing the young boys how it's done.

Matt looking a bit like Peter Pan fluttering down.

And finally Chris doing a 50s style snorkelling dance while jumping.

Matt wasn't quite ready to leave after the high rock, so he found a lower rock to jump off of as well - love the shadow! Great form!

Ah, cottage life . . . 

I found this crazy mushroom growing right next to the cottage. It had pushed through the moss underneath a big pine tree. I must have cuaght it at the perfect time, though, because by Saturday morning it had blown out and wasn't this beautiful yellow colour at all. I'm still waiting for Drew Monkman to identify it for me. 

Tim, Chris, and I took the (insanely rickety) boat out fishing Friday night at dusk. I caught a couple of fish right away and then gave it up in favour of taking pictures of the boys. 

This fish's eyes were bigger than it's stomach. Or it's entire body.

Going fast!

Sun goes down, mosquitoes come out. 

Fishing by the light of the moon.

He's got one! I bet it's a rock bass. 

It's a rock bass.

Sad face - only rock bass all night for Chris.

Happy face! Tim wouldn't care even if he was only catching rock bass. It would still be the best thing EVER!

We had to pack up and leave Saturday, so Tim and I got an early morning start by jumping in the lake. The water was cool in the best possible way. We spent the rest of the day lazing around, fishing, paddleboating. Tim and I even found a big patch of wild blueberries that were actually ripe. It's so early in the season for late - probably about three to four weeks before they should be edible.

I predict a good part of Tim's summer off will be spent doing exactly this.

Tim's cottage feet. Ewww.

The boys also had to spend a portion of the day diving for Matt's sunglasses, which fell off when he jumped in the water. Surprisingly, he actually did manage to retrieve them, with the help of the neighbour's ultra-stylish goggles.

Matt in goggles! 

Matt's diving feet.

Tim getting ready for his attempt.

So, so special. 

Matt and Teri - so cute!

Finally to wrap up the day, Tim and I took a last spin around the lake. Tim wanted me to sit next to him, but I was terrified of the boat - with no weight at the front it felt like we were almost vertical and had no stability at all. While that might be Tim's idea of a good time, it is not mine.

Made for cottaging!

This weekend was the perfect start to our summer vacation. Thanks to Dean and Wendy for inviting us to come stay with them for a few days!