Sunday, April 29, 2012


                                 Male Ringed-neck Duck, a lifer for both Rob and I.

My absolutely favorite thing to do on Sunday morning is to go for breakfast or brunch, followed by a good, long, birding walk, and today we did just that.

This morning we met our good friends bright and early at Cora's for a hearty breakfast before heading off to Etobicoke Creek Park, which I call "Pat's Park" as it's so close to her home. We all enjoyed the two hour plus walk and had many bird sightings. The highlight for all of us was watching a couple Kingfishers, which we had a few sightings of, and Rob and I getting a "lifer" (first time seeing a new species) with a Ringed-necked Duck. It's hard to see in this picture, but he has a red coloured ring around his neck. He is one funky looking duck! Click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see the amazing markings on his bill. Mother Nature did a marvelous job with this one!

We also enjoyed watching a couple Kingfishers fly around.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


While I was in Alberta our new stove was delivered. Our old one had broke again and instead of paying a few hundred dollars to have it fixed again, we decided to get a new one. There was a bit of an issue with the hook-up, but eventually, the Saturday I was back, it was good to go.

We had plans to go out for dinner with friends on Saturday, and I was using the slow-cooker Sunday. Monday, it being my first day back to work after vacation, I had just planned on throwing a frozen pizza in the oven when I got home. I didn't want the first thing I cooked with the new stove to be a frozen pizza!

I decided on a very simple recipe that I make quite often in the warmer months, "Salsa Chicken Thighs". I like this recipe because it's good with a variety of sides and served warm or cold.

It turned out great and I look forward to more cooking with my new shiny stove.


1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Cup Salsa
1 TBSP Soya Sauce
1 Tsp Honey or Brown Sugar
8 Skin-less Bone-in Chicken Thighs

Stir first four ingredients in a 9x13" casserole dish. Add chicken, turning to coat. Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes uncovered.


Saturday, April 14, 2012


                                         Colouring Easter Eggs with Tayler and Ashlee.

After spending ten days with my nieces in the fall of 2010, I knew then that I couldn't wait so long between seeing them again. I had hoped to get out in 2011, but Mom was the priority and a visit west wasn't to be.

"Operation Easter Bunny" officially began in December of 2011 when I purchased my ticket to fly out on April 5th, 2012.  My brother, his wife, Sandy, and I all kept the secret about my visit from the girls. It was a hard one to keep, and the closer the time got the harder it was, but we did it. Seeing their faces in the arrivals area where they were expecting to pick up one of Jeff's co-workers was well worth it.

We had a fabulous week! Easter is a great time to go visit the girls, as they get the week after Easter off from school, and we made the most of it. We coloured eggs, shopped, watched movies, went swimming, played Wii (they even created me, my own Wii character), laughed and talked, and just enjoyed being together.

                                         Enjoying a ride on the Merry-Go-Round.

The girls are 6 years apart and are quite different personality wise, I call them the "Sun and the Moon, as different as night and day, but each special and unique in their own way".   I even see a little of me in each of them.

                                               New Easter dresses from Auntie Angela.

My only complaint about the week, it went way too fast.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


As long as I can remember, my oldest niece, Ashlee, has been calling me "Double A", for "Auntie Angela". Her little sister does the same. After spending ten days with them in Florida in October 2010, they started calling me "Triple A", for "Awesome Auntie Angela".
I have a special bond with both my nieces, despite the miles between us. I think they recognize the child like spirit I have, and that's just fine with me.
I have let them dress me up, put make-up on me, paint my nails and braid my hair. I play games with them, watch TV and movies with them. I dance around the living-room with them, sing and act silly for them. I talk to them, I ask their opinion and I listen to them. I try to be the best Aunt I can by putting as much love and fun into the time we spend together, whether in person, on Skype or over the phone. I often mail them things and now that Ashlee is older we "text" almost daily. I'm sure that will happen with Tayler when she's older too.
I'm leaving after work to spend a week with them over the Easter holidays after not seeing them since October, 2010 due to Mom's illness and passing. I cannot wait to see them, they don't know I'm coming. Jeff and Sandy told them they have to pick up one of Jeff's co-workers at the airport. I got my "bunny ears" packed in my carry-on to wear when I land.
Let the fun begin, and may Mom enjoy the show from her prime seat.