Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sledding Heaven

Sorry for the lack of posts but I had technical difficulties to solve and I kept procrastinating.

Done now and I am so glad. I have a friend visiting from the UK and actually got out on the trails myself this week. The valley put on quite a show. Absolutely gorgeous. Trails were in terrific shape and could not believe how quiet they were.

This is Thelma all geared up next to the Madawaska River.  Great fun was had by all.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Brisket Week

Last week was brisket week. Two were smoked and two were slow cooked. Kind of a meatapalooza!
The inn smelled of spices for days.  Both get rubbed and left for two days in the fridge before they are cooked.
Rubbed and rested for two days.

It's very heavy!

Into the fire...well the smoker anyway.

We wrap after about 6 hours of smoke.

The smell is amazing!  Gotta nibble. These babies will chill
overnight then be sliced and piled onto buns with onions
and our special sauce. To die for.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


About four years ago I lifted all my iris as grass had gotten into them and the were not blooming well. Didn't seem to help. This spring I threatened them with extinction if they didn't bloom. Guess that worked!

Friday, June 14, 2013

June 13th Containers

Well it has been a rough spring for the baskets and containers. Very cold and not much sun. Still they are progressing and it is fun to see the progress even if it is slow.
The wash tubs which I covered on the frosty nights
this spring are further along than the baskets
which I brought into the house and left
at the window.  Hard to think that with
a bit of luck and sun, that soon the basket will be
hard to see for petunias!

Gardens and lawns are happy with the rain
especially after last years drought.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Planter Time...Woot!

I have always got great satisfaction from planting and growing my own baskets and containers. Buying these full blown things from stores and nurseries just doesn't do it for me. They also don't make it through the season. They are exhausted well before frost takes them. So it is with great joy that I head to the nursery to pick my plants for my hanging baskets and containers (of which there are 14.)
Verbenas were big enough to slip
Unfortunately I am like a deer caught in the headlights. Soooo many choices. Soooo many beautiful colours and lovely little specimens.... I want them all.  So last year I decided to be very organized and picked my colour scheme and plants ahead of time (with help from the Proven Winners website) so that when I went to the nursery it would be just a matter of putting them on my trolly.  I would put blinkers on and just get the things on my list.  Trouble was that when I went, which was mid May, they did not have what I wanted. They had had the petunias but they were already planted into mixed baskets. No good.  The colours of my filler plants also not quite right. I would have to scrap the plan and start again. Back to square one. Several hours later I left the nursery.

petunia and calibrchoa plugs
So this year I got really organized and called the greenhouse manager in January! This is what I want, are you getting any of these? Put those aside please I will get them when they arrive as wee babes. So between two greenhouses I was able to order what I wanted and picked them up in mid April. Now this spring, as we all know, has been particularly cold and on that day in April it was freezing! I got seriously strange looks as I packed the plants into my pre warmed vehicle. But I had cut my plant shopping time by about 300%. In and out. No temptation as everything in the greenhouse was just tiny and green. Mission accomplished.
planting day

I am lucky to have a large south window and have a temporary table arrangement in front of it. So I nursed these little beauties inside till I got a day that was warm enough and not blowing a gale and out we went to plant. Shortly after the weather turned and they have been ever so happy. Didn't have to worry about frost till two nights ago.  Not a problem. I was ready and everyone was tucked up safe and warm. Inside, in the van or covered with a blanket.  All good.

This is what the baskets look like today. They will go out again when it warms up a bit.  Not much of a show yet but their little roots will be so happy and growing like mad.  I will keep posting pictures so you can watch their progress.  Such fun!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

National Treasure

Me in the lobby.
The daughter and I recently treated ourselves to a weekend on the 4th floor of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. What a treat. Everyone should do this at least once in their life. Definitely bucket list material.
The staff are amazing and the food and ambiance lives up to the service.  There is so much history wrapped up in this beautiful hotel that it gives me goosebumps. Just wandering the halls is a memorable experience but my three top picks: 4th floor lounge and staff
, Zoe's, and the art deco pool. So if you are heading to Ottawa this is a "must visit."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Salmon Smoking Day

Ya gotta' love salmon smoking day! It makes me feel oh so Canadian.

Monday, February 18, 2013

How Lucky We Are

Fabulous Ontario winter weekend.  Our guests were busy doing all kinds of things. Cross country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and touring. Our sledders report great trails from Mattawa to Huntsville. Cold nights and warmer days have made great grooming conditions. Our skiers spent a lovely day in Algonquin Park and are going to check out the new Opeongo Nordic Ski Club on their way home to Ottawa.  We are very excited about this new club with 10 km of groomed trails. You can check them out at Thanks to all our great guests this weekend, old friends and new, for making this job a joy.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Great Weekend

Well it was a wonderful weekend for sledding. We had a lovely group of guests, all snowmobilers, all off in different directions. Everyone had a great time and declared the trails to be in great shape. Our guests who usually snowmobile on the "other" side of the park aka: Muskoka, were really impressed with the decreased volume of traffic.  We keep telling people it really is worth the drive to the Madawaka Valley! It's snowing like crazy this morning, getting ready for more riding next weekend.