Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend at home

We're both zonked ... it's rainy and cold ... and both of us have mild colds ... all stuffed up, sore throats, nothing serious.  I spent some time on my scrapbooking ... so much to do!

So, I finished this one weeks ago, but for some reason didn't post it on my blog.  These pictures were taken in September 2004 during our vacation to the east coast.  The little tour boat circled Perce Rock while northern gannets crashed into the sea all around us!

And this one ... I love this one,  While vacationing on the west coast in 2008 ... I took a whale watching tour out of Victoria, BC.  It was very windy and the whales were frisky ... leaping, cartwheeling, spy hopping ... we saw all of it!  It was a dream come true!

Whale Watching adventure
I did finish a layout for the challenge on Sketch Support ... it was late, but so what ... I already own all her sketch books anyway.  I used the card sketch to make a title page for my Vacation 2003 album.  Steve and I had not had a 'real' vacation in years, so together with some friends we embarked a Road Trip to the East Coast ... 2 weeks, 4 provinces.  I pulled out my distress inks and blending tool and my tattered angels mists for this ... I think that it looks way better in person.

Road Trip 2003
And finally, this one really fought with me.  I got what I wanted, but Murphy was working against me, that's for sure.  In Feb 2010 Steve surprised with a trip to Owl Woods.  It's a private conservation area where owls ... even the rare Boreal Owl winter.  It's located on Amherst Island and to get there you have to take a ferry across the St. Lawrence River ... the frozen St Lawrence.

breaking the ICE
I've got 3 more close to being finished ... a pretty good effort!

Friday, October 14, 2011

More Murray Lake

I love looking through pictures.  I've picked a few more to post.

This year we packed a big bag of sunflower seeds, another bag of shelled peanuts and 4 loaves of bread JUST for me to feed to the birds.  The Blue Jays and Grey Jays visited us every morning and then again in the afternoon to grab some grub to store for the winter!

Grey Jay
We heard the tapping before we saw it.  Although very common, I've only seen a few of these large pileated woodpeckers in my life.

Just outside our cabin!
And finally ... every day we watched the sun set.  Each night the lake lay before us like a mirror ... loons wailed in the distance, or whistled together on the lake.  This year there were no spectacular sunsets, but this was lovely ... very serene

Simply beautiful.
And then we'd watch the stars ... up here there is absolutely zero light pollution.  Billions of stars filled the giant sky ... even the big dipper, pictured here, is hard to find amidst that incredible star filled sky.  Across the lake an owl called, so peaceful, so perfect!

The big dipper.
 And finally, in the end ....


Getting back into it!

Thanks Lynette for your comment on my pictures.  Here's the thing, I've already gone one planned using the new October 2-page sketch on Sketch Support ... and I've got my heart set on the Huckleberry Pond collection to really make the layout pop ... and my local scrapbook store ... the best scrapbook store ... Two Scrapbook Friends has only got a few bits and pieces of the collection in stock ... the rest is on back order.  WHAAAAAAAAA.

But I've got enough to do ... again, I've let things get bogged down.  I've started at least 10 layouts in the last month and have not finished one.  I'm bad for that.  It's the final touches ... I never know if I'm done ... so I take it out and look at it ... push some embellishments around the page ... then put it aside until I'm sure.  I plan on finishing some off this weekend.  We'll see ...

The Sketch Support site had a challenge last week for a layout based on a card sketch.  I really wanted to do it ... I printed out the pictures even.  But I just have no energy after work these days.  Now I see that no one has entered the challenge, and I actually feel guilty about it, like I've let Allison down or something.  But I just can't do it tonight so I'll try tomorrow ... so what if the challenge ends tonight.

Where's Tucker?

I'm so embarassed!  A friend from work asked me if Tucker went to Murray Lake with us ... and that's when it hit me, I had not included any pictures of my sweet boy Tuck on my blog.

So, I've included some pics to show that ... not only was he there, he had a great vacation too!

Handsome Boy!
Tucker's not really a swimmer ... he'll go in after toys or sticks, but he doesn't swim very well at all ... he's gone under on us a few times so we don't push it with him.  Left on his own, he'll play in the shallow water with his frisbee ... too bad this one sinks!

Who NEEDS to swim!
In this picture Alf was dancing and skipping at the end of the dock with all the guys, but he lost his footing and fell in ... I think Tuck may have been laughing at him.
Whenever Steve was down at the boat, all three dogs went to check it out.

Whatcha Doin?

And more pictures including Tucker!

Syd with her duckie and Tuck

The gang's all here!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Murray Lake

We love our time at Murray Lake!  We left the house at 3 in the morning driving north along the 400 ... our first rest stop was Perry Sound where we got the dogs out for a quick walk ... then into McIck for McBreakie ... I actually love the McMuffins, shhhhhh.  Then back into the van ... we watched the sun come up as we continued north ... and almost hit a deer!  Continuing through Sudbury, curse that Canadian Tire, and along the north shore of lake Huron to Blind River.  We stopped for gas and a pee break and then slowly drove onward to Iron Bridge.  I love this stretch of road ... it closely follows the North Channel and we always watch for Bald Eagles here ... we saw at least 8! 

Bald Eagle
  Their white heads where hard to miss in the bright sunlight.  Once, 2 years ago, we saw a golden eagle here ... but we were part of a group at that time and couldn't stop.  We'd really like a repeat of that!

Once again we turned north toward Chapleau ... the fall colours were just getting started. 

Fall Drive North
As we followed the winding Mississaugi River a large bull moose ran along the road and as we approached it dashed into the trees on my right ... and disappeared!  How do they do that?  I had my camera ready ... and we were almost on top of it ... but as soon as it hit the trees, it was gone.

We passed Chapleau ... almost there!  Then up towards Missanabi ... almost there ... and then finally down the long driveway to the lake ... we were there!

Tina met us at the van.  We let the dogs out to run ... and run ... and introduced Tina to Alfie.  The lake was calm ... just like a mirror, reflecting the autumn gold of the forest.  Ahhhhh.  We talked while the dogs played ... both goldens ran to the lake and splashed around near the shore ... no surprises there!

We dragged in all our gear ... the little cabin never changes!  Finally ... peace and quiet for a whole week!  We were both exhausted, so after a quick supper we watched the sun set ... and then we went to bed.

The next morning dawned, the lake hidden by a frosty fog ... so beautiful!

Frosty Fog

Delicate Frost

I headed out in my PJ's to have a look around.  Frost clung to the surfaces of every surface!  I took this picture of Sydney ... c'mon, don't tell me dogs don't smile!  Back inside, Steve started coffee and I started a fire to warm up the cabin. 

Happy Syd
We were not alone on the lake this year ... we were very surprised to learn that another cabin was occupied ... by a 2 person, 2 dog hunting party.  As we enjoyed our coffee ... in front of the big window, our neighbours headed out on their small duck boat.

Jeff and Tina were busy at the outpost cabin, so we did in fact have the place to ourselves.  Steve checked out the boat, getting things set up the way he likes them, while I played with the dogs.  Suffice it to say that both Alfie and Syd spent the entire week wet!

And that's how the entire week went.  The weather was warm and calm, so Steve spent many hours out fishing.  Mostly I read ... we have hundreds of books from Steve's mom, she was a huge fan of Christine Feehan, and I had packed the first 5 books of the "Game" series.  Not really my style, often violent, but quite interesting storylines ... I read 1 each day.  I also spent some time scrapbooking and baking.

When Steve returned from fishing we'd play with the pups.  We had a thought to see if Alf would dive from the dock ... ya think?  He was like a little kid, running down the length of the dock and flinging himself into the water.  I took this series of pictures with my camera on burst mode ...

Dock Divin Dog - Alfie
Too funny!  Sydney showed some interest, and even though we know we shouldn't encourage her ... dock diving is too hard on a dog's front legs, we let her do one ... so here it is, Syd's first ... and last dock dive.

Syd's not so graceful dive
 At night we'd watch the stars and on 2 occasions we heard an owl.  The sound of silence was deafening!  The cabin has no electricity ... a generator can be used for some light ... but we chose not to use it, except once when we invited Jeff and Tina for dinner.  And we hardly used the wood stove, except in the mornings to drive off the chill.

We had a great vacation - so peaceful!  Before we left, We gave Jeff and Tina a picture of one the sunsets from our trip last year.  It was breathtaking!

On Friday night a large party of moose hunters arrived ... long into the night we could hear their generator droning on and on ... it was time for us to leave.

Saturday dawned and it was windy.  We had decided to drive along the Superior shore on the way home, and I was hoping for some drama.  We stopped in Wawa for coffee and then down 17 into Lake Superior Provincial Park.  Initially I wanted to stop at Old Woman Bay, but evidently so did everyone else.  Surperior was a little moody, but still incredibly beautiful, and many people were stopping to admire her.  So we pulled into the parking lot at Katherine Cove ... we took the dogs out and had the entire beach to ourselves.  We didn't dare take the goldens off leash ... the lake was too dangerous.  Waves roared ashore, the water an exotic green colour.

Katherine Cove Lake Superior
 What a great vacation!

Countdown to VACATION

The last 3 weeks in September flew by ... so much to do before vacation.  As always there was work.  I'd work so hard that I'd just crash when I got home.  The van started acting up ... alternator again ... I'm so pissed at Canadian Tire ... the Sudbury location for the jury-rigging a faulty alternator into the van ... I mean really, wire and tape? And the Kitchener location that made us wait for 2 hours while they claimed to scope the van ... without ever raising the hood.  As Neddy Flanders would say ... shoddily doddily, ooddily.  But we took the van elsewhere and had a new alternator installed and hey ... this one works!

But at the end of all that we headed north to Murray Lake!