Posted by: Valerie | October 17, 2010

A visit from aliens and three Thanksgivings

 The nights are fairly drawing in now. Most of the leaves have fallen and we are trying to find a guy to rake them up. Unfortunately hunting season starts tomorrow and all the good ol’ boys are off to their hunt camps for a couple of weeks of slaughter and debauchery. So we won’t be walking in the woods for a week or two! I have little or no confidence in the ability of hunters who have probably been knocking back some few beers before venturing out with a rifle. I don’t think Joe and I look like deer – wrong shape entirely I would say, but who knows what they see at the end of their guns. We are such hypocrites, Joe and I. We don’t allow hunters on the property, would never dream of injuring a deer in any way, but if anyone offers us some venison, we greedily accept.

All these autumnal goings-on made me decide to make a good rich stew for dinner today. I coated the raw meat in finely ground quinoa (good for you, you know), seared it and cooked it in Upper Canada Dark with barley and veggies in the slow-cooker. The best bit was the caraway dumplings I popped in at the end. The recipe called for 4 oz of shredded suet – imagine! I would be afraid of receiving a hefty clout on the side of the head before being carted off to cholesterol hell if I used that stuff. I wouldn’t even know where to find suet except for the huge chunks we hang for the birds in the depths of winter. Anyway I used butter and it probably wasn’t any healthier but it was yummy and Joe and I have contented tummies.

We had a visit from a couple of aliens the week before Thanksgiving. They arrived with  a monster vacuum, all dressed in space suits with breathing masks. They then proceeded to suck bat guano out of our attic into a gigantic dumpster. I went out for lunch. I must report that the aliens cleaned up perfectly and left the house, deodorized and reinsulated. I hate to tell you what that little lot cost!

Alien bat people get busy

You may remember that I mentioned Winston, the old dog in my last post. Sorry to say that his revival didn’t last and he crossed the rainbow bridge (ghastly metaphor) a few days later. He has joined previous family doggies deep in our back forty. He was missed when we went to Oshawa to Joe’s daughter Liz and family for Thanksgiving Part II.

Thanksgiving Part I happened right here. James, Angela, Deklin and Magnus arrived on the Friday with huge quantities of luggage, most of which pertained to either the baby or the dog. Before they came I went around the house trying to baby-proof as the little lad is hurtling around at top speed now. Absolutely everything is interesting and worth investigating, including Charlie the cat. Considering Charlie has had very little contact with kids, he was amazingly long-suffering, permitting drooly kisses and some roughish hugs and tail-yanking. It was so funny (for the onlookers, not the cat) when Deklin was jiggling a tape measure for Charlie to catch but got bored and seized his baby guitar and before we realized what he was up to, he clonked the poor animal over the head with it. No more Charlie. No, no, he’s not dead – just disappeared. His kitty nerves were pretty frayed between the attentions of a well-meaning but enormous Golden and a savage toddler!

A fraction of a second before the blow lands
The family left on Sunday and so did we, driving to Oshawa for the previously mentioned party at Liz’s. Fifteen for dinner! I have never catered for so many except as a buffet. She did a magnificent job and we had a noisy, fun time. Then we drove home again. Four hours driving and we got home before dark. What a whirl we live in!
Liz’s Thanksgiving table

Then the next day we were madly tidying away the evidence of the family visit prior to my old pal (and client) Robert and his wife Jutta driving up from Ottawa for a visit. It was a very pleasant day with wonderful weather and we took them for a walk around the property and then went to a nearby pub on the “big” lake for lunch, follwed by scenery appreciation.

I have just realized that this blog is a year old. I have posted 64 entries and the readership has grown satisfactorily. I do wish I knew who reads it though. Several friends make comments fairly regularly but who the rest are I have no idea. Stand up and be counted, friends – or not, if you prefer…

And because of course I am a proud Grandmama, here is another photo of Deklin. Did I mention that he has started school already? I think I mentioned that he is smart. Probably have his PhD bu the time he’s eight. He is enrolled in Music and French at the Emilia Reggio Daycare in the Glebe – at 15 months!

Deklin helps out with the apples


  1. I read it, every time. I send it to mum and she reads it to. :o)

    Your aliens look more like Federal clean up agents from THE X-FILES to me.

    Charlie won’t forget that! My cats don’t generally stay around when we have visitors, unless they met them as kittens. Joey hides under the bed until they go, or somehow he knows they are staying so he flees outside and doesn’t come back for a good hour after they leave. He does come in after bedtime for dinner – this is a big deal for Joey, he never misses a meal! Lucy isn’t so scared but keeps her distance.

    Thanks givings sounded like fun.

    Congrats on the year of blogging, we love it down here so keep it up.


    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Sarah. Good to know that you and your Mum enjoy the postings. I constantly fear running out of things to woffle about though, Sometime I’m going to do a “what have we all been reading blog.” love, Val

  2. Just to tell you that your blogging is all worthwhile. We arrived back from three weeks
    holiday this morning and my inbox was jam-packed with no end of rubbish so I eagerly clicked on to you and have ignored the rest till I,ve done the mountain of holiday washing!

    • My goodness! I am so flattered! Hope you had a great holiday. Where? When you have got through all the washing, do tell all!

  3. Beautiful Autumnal tree photo.
    Canadian Thanksgiving is at a much more convenient time than the US. The fourth week of November is far too close to Christmas–but many families gather together for Thanksgiving and not for Christmas. Go figure!

    • I always thought it must be a pain having to do that feast thing twice so close together.

  4. Love the library in the photo of Liz’s thanksgiving.

    Hope you can give me the name of the shit removal company as I’ve had bats & pigeons in my attic for a decade…if it’s too expensive I shall do it myself.


    • The bat removal was apparently a deal at $1,300 and the after clean-up which we just had done was another $1,800! Ye Gods!
      If you do it yourself remember you will need breathing apparatus. That stuff is EVIL!

  5. I just thought I’d drop by with some testosterone to dilute down all the estrogen laden posts. Damn kid! I hope Charlie swats him one good the next time they meet. Your besmirching of the hunting fraternity does not become you, Val. I have been to many a camp and the lads mostly sit around the fire reading War an Peace or engaging in philosophical dissertations while drinking Perrier. The hunting is merely an excuse to get away from the clinging women in their lives and do a little male bonding. Besides, statistics show that more deer are killed by female motorists than by hunters. I do not think that you would ever be mistaken for a deer while walking your property. You might, however, be mistaken for a bear.

  6. Sorry, Val, I have to agree in theory with Jean’s amusing post–(the description of the hunting camp had me in stitches). If I am unable to refuse the offer of a grouse or a side of venison I cannot criticise those who bravely gird their loins against the cold and bring home the bacon-so to speak. We do have javelina around here-sometimes called a wild pig or peccary–but the flesh is disgusting so I’ll stay with the analogy and hope to get the offer of the grouse.

    I have often wondered–do people say “when I grow up I want to work with a bat-shit removal company” or is it that in a remote rural area any shitty job is acceptable?

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