Canadian Thanksgiving

I was able to experience my first Canadian Thanksgiving and well, it wasn't that much different.  Minus mom's home cooking, the food was pretty much the same.  The only major difference, it was on a Monday and it wasn't really that big of a deal.  There wasn't any special football game, except for Monday night football.  I was fortunate enough to experience a double dose of Thanksgiving, Saturday with family friends and then Sunday with Shereen and her family.

Shereen and I made all the sides including:  brussel sprouts with onions, apple pieces, and bacon, baked carrots with honey and rosemary, mashed potatoes, Stove Top stuffing, cranberry sauce from a can, and leftover sweet potato casserole from the day before, while her brother prepared the turkey with butter, herbs, and bacon.  The meal was quite the feast and topped off with a bit of white wine and some pumpkin as well as pecan pie we picked up at Safeway.  The group included Shereen, her brother and father, her dad's grandparents, as well as myself and another friend.  

I found it a bit humorous how her father and grandparents quite often praised her brother for making the Turkey, but said little to Shereen about the sides.  It must be a cultural thing where more respect is paid to the males, because I think they like Shereen.  Just an observation and as in the past, I may be wrong.  Alas, I'm done and here are the photos from the meal we had Monday.  Lots to be thankful for...

 (Shereen was getting artsy with the water)

 (The dining room table with the place settings)

(Her brother as he carved the turkey)

(A close up shot of the bird)

(A plate with all the goodies - carrots, brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce - obviously not my plate - turkey, sweet potato casserol, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.)

 (Here's the feast laid out on the table)

 (I think Shereen was pretty proud of herself so she took a few pictures of the food)

(Her grandpa was great - Muhammad, and we had quite a few laughs.  He's from Iran and a beekeeper and had some great stories to tell.  I think he got in a little bit of trouble for telling me some of his stories, but none of them upset me...)

(Dad Sayeed, brother Justin, grandpa, Shereen, and her grandmother Vagi)  


Fall is Over...

Had the first snowfall of the year last night, which is exciting.  Those of you who know me, know how much I love the snow.  More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that it signifies the end of Fall.  Hopefully, with the change in season comes a new approach, a new beginning, a chance to let go and move on.  Woke up this morning and wasn't quite sure if I was going to take pictures, but glad I did.  The contrast with the leaves and the snow was awesome, although you can't really tell from the pictures.  Good thing I did because all of the snow melted.  

Lots of big decisions to make in the next few weeks and lots to figure out.  I am firm believer you are where you are in life because of the decisions you make, either consciously or unconsciously.  Although I'm not quite sure where I'm going to end up, thinking about the possibilities excites me.  I hope you find yourself excited wherever you may be along your journey!  

 (The sun was just starting to come up.  This is the view from the front porch.)

 (Tree in the backyard with a face, if you look closely enough)

 (Red Deer Lake in the background.  You might have to click on this picture to appreciate the contrast in colors.)

(I kind of liked how the leaves on the ground matched the leaves till in the trees and the contrast with the snow)

(Same shot from a little different angle and it's amazed me how much the color changed)

(This is just a bush in the front yard but I liked the reddish color)


First Ever Calgary Stamps Game

Well, I lost my Stamps V-Card.  This past Sunday, Shereen picked up tickets for $20 which included a beer and burger.  Great deal!  We had a few drinks before the game and then walked our way over to the stadium with her friend Jenn.  As soon as we got to the game the ladies were hungry so we were in search of the burger supposedly included in the ticket.  After stopping at 4 or 5 vendors I had Shereen call the bar where she bought the tickets - the burger and the beer could be found at the bar, which was not where we were.

So, we had a few more drinks and settled in for the game.  The game itself was not that exciting or perhaps the fans were not that excited about the game.  It seemed like more of a social event than a sporting event, at least the sporting events I'm used to.  In their defense, the Calgary Stampeders crushed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 38 - 11.  That's a whole different post, but you can get a single point in the Canadian Football League (CFL).  I'm still not quite sure how that all works out, something about kick offs or punts or field goal attempts.  Silly, I know...

The ladies made some friends at the game and now have a date for Halloween where they are all going to dress up as zombie princesses.  Shereen was nominated for zombie Pocahontas.  The guys in front of us were hockey fans and the one young man was somehow related to Dale Hunter, hence the Caps hat.  Finished the evening at a bar called Moose McGuires - right down the street from the stadium.  There were perhaps a few Stampeders that showed up after the game.  Alas, here are a few photos from an eventful day...

(Stamps sticker as we made our way to the game)

(Jump shot for the day - pretty decent height if I do say so)

('Pass Holders Only')

 (As we made our way into McMahon Stadium)

 (First full view of the field)

 (This was our view for the game)

(Fireworks celebration after a Stamps score)

(Jenn and myself.  I honestly think Shereen took this picture to get the kid with the afro in the background...)

(There was a halftime show with some smaller players)

(The action made its way towards us - see if you can spot the ball, it's in the air)

 (Another Stamps touchdown celebration - the old horse and flag)

 (Fun shot of a little team spirit)

(Shereen really likes to drink so she took this picture...  Stamps Logo and all)

 (Us enjoying my first Stamps game)

(The ladies having fun at the game)

(Our new friends - Part I.  The guy on the right was wearing the Caps hat.)

(Our new friends - Part II.  These are the girls that are going to dress up as zombie princesses...)

(Night was starting to fall, but by this point the game was over)


(A few people hanging out after the game)

(And, as we tried to make our way home Shereen saw some rabbits and wanted to take a picture.  I'll let you judge the state she was in by the clearness of the picture...)