Thursday, September 29, 2011

All ready

I think everything is packed.  I have clothes set out for the morning.  We were out this afternoon to get some money, and I have four ( count 'em-four) pocket books to read during my travels.  I have three pair of reading glasses packed.  My coping mechanism for my eyes is really quite ridiculous.  Another lady and I will be picked up at the airport and driven from Kelowna to Penticton with stops along the way for lunch and maybe a couple of wineries. ( Now why would they want to stop there?)

At this point in a trip I always get apprehensive and want to call the whole thing off.  I keep asking myself why I do this to myself.  Why can't I be content just staying at home and watching reality shows?

Anyway, I'll be out of touch over the weekend, and you can just imagine me argueing points at the Agm.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


David and I voted at the advance poll on Saturday, as I don't get back from BC until shortly before the polls close.  It was painless, as the poll was in the mall across the street, and no-one asked any questions other than "who are you?" and "can you prove it?"  Our riding has been staunchly NDP for years, but this time they re-assigned the boundries, and actually broke the riding in two.  Should prove interesting.

Today we rode up to the Tim Horton's at Henderson and McLeod.  I'm guessing that it's been two years since we were last there.  Last time we went to the Tim's on the bike trail, I had a very unfortunate experience with the server--a rude nasty "princess", who was incapable of listening to what I was asking her, so I'm reluctant to go back there.  I had forgotten what a nice ride it is along Kildonan Drive.  While we were there, who comes in but our next door neighbours--the ones who are moving out on Friday.  they ahve been good neighbours and we'll miss them.  Then a fellow that we used to chat with two years ago came over to say hello.  It was sort of nice for a change. What was sad was the number of houses for sale on the streets we rode through.  Many of these were older homes, probably elderly couples who are being forced to move along--it's that sort of neighbourhood.

It worries me to hear that you have fallen, Beth.  At our age,that sort of thing can be more serious than we know.  Please take it easy (Yeah, I know)  Did you say that you have a doctors' appointment coming up?

Be - exciting weekend for you...

It sounds as if you had a great weekend and so interesting by your description of the events. Sometimes it is nicer to attend something totally off the wall ie needing an instructor to have a translator, than the more normal "here I am, this is what I do, and now you are going to do it" approach. Had a long day in North Bay and never did get to see Mike after all. It is time to panic about Thanksgiving and everyone coming to Mothers to be feed by Harry (tisk tisk, for me to make such a nasty comment about inlaws) Mother starts to worry and then we plan the menus, and begin to buy the food, and then we pacify until the blessed weekend comes (and goes) So we purchased some groceries today and drove directly to Mothers from North Bay to drop off at her place – not that she is going to do anything with it, but she needs to know that she has it. We visited Uncle Walter at the home again and that always takes about two to three hours of our day. We also got some candy for Hallowe'en  and Harry is wrapping it into little packages – never know how many people will come to the door as it varies so much each year depending on weather and day of the week. Years ago we gave out pop cans –likely one of the first families to do that and I thought it was so easy and we could use the leftovers. Then many others started to hand it out and the kids became "bored" with that. So now we wrap up packages of choc bars, and licorice etc. The rain started tonight which may hamper my hopes to work more in the yard tomorrow to clean up. I envy you Patty for cutting back on your yard and therefore less cleanup for fall. I had a nasty fall last night when taking the dog for a walk – right outside our door I was looking at something and the dog pulled me and I tripped on a rock and literally went head first onto the sidewalk and fell against the front of my car in the driveway. I sat there for a few minutes before I could muster the energy to pick myself up and assess my damage. Luckily nothing severe but a few bangs and bruises and "hurts" I keep thinking that I am falling apart – just like you said Patty that the old body seems to be letting us down? What I really think is that I must be more careful. Right now I have the election debate on the TV with the three leaders arguing with each other. We go the polls here in Ontario on October 6 and it may mean a change in government from Liberals as the popularity polls say it is neck and neck right now with the Conservatives. Must run for now, so take care.

Monday, September 26, 2011

wonderful weekend

Attended a two-day embroidery workshop and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Worked very hard as well.  This body just isn't used to working that hard two days straight! David got a lot of the yard work done while I was there, so we're just about ready for winter from that perspective--but certainly not looking forward to it!  The class was interesting from several viewpoints.  The teacher was a gentleman embroiderer and Haut Couture fashion designer, from France, who spoke no English.  The second day he came in, went up to each English person individually and said "Good Morning.  How are you?"  He has been involved in a year-long project to produce a limited fashion line of contemporary winter garments that reflect the traditions of both the Abroiginal and Metis people, as well as the traditional embroideries of the area of France in which he lives.  He designed the garments, and then much of embroidery and beading was done by Manitoba artists, such as my friend Carol James.  The pieces are on exhibition in Winnipeg now, and he was here for opening cermonies and receptions etc associated with the exhibit.
Anyway,  we participants talked amongst ourselves and worked out all of the "degrees of separation" between us.  Everyone knows that Winnipeg is a very incestuous town, and we sure proved it! Two degrees--max! First time I've been in a class working with a translator.  It actually worked well!

The translator, over the two days, wore two jackets that had been custom made for her, locally.  They were hand-made, wet process, felted wool.  I know of the process, but had never seen anything like this.  They were beautiful!  Delicate colours melded through the process, with silk fibres added.  Each piece of the garment had been individually madeto size and shape.  Absolutely marvellous!

Today we bought a new printer and David set it up.  I got in a bit of a panic when I realized that I had no way of printing off my boarding pass for Friday.  We've learned over time not to try to work on that sort of job together, but there were problems.  So we ended up using a cable to connect it to the desk top instead of setting it up for wireless.  We had really wanted the wireless so that I could print from the basement.  No good for now, but at least, we can print.   When we save a bit of $$$ we'll maybe have to get someone in to set it up for us.  The problem appears to be that we have no idea what our "password" for the wireless might be.  I guess it wasn't written down when the fellow set the system up for us. 

Cathy, we will be wanting a bit more poultry than last year.  Maybe 5 turkeys and 8 large chickens.  I asked Amber if she wanted any, because we had talked about it, but she hasn't gotten back to me with any numbers, so don't worry about her.  Loren might have wanted a couple of chickens, but doesn't have a freezer! Besides which, his daughter is now talking about becoming a vegetarian--as all teenage girls do.

So now to take this very tired body to bed.  It is really difficult to name one single thing I'm grateful for today.  Things have been good lately.  I'm grateful for good weather, I'm grateful for improving health, and I'm especially grateful for the privilege of living with David--who made extra trips to St. Boniface this weekend bringing me things I had forgotten.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A warm and sunny Sunday

It is strange having a heat wave in September, but it is kind of nice to extend the bbq season. (Whole chicken tonight!) Jim has today off work so we slept in until 8am. I woke up at 6:22 and smiled and snuggled down. He figures they have about 5 or 6 more days to go. Our boss at work very generously shared her cold with us. She phoned in sick on Friday, and Patty and I took turns putting our heads down on our desks. For me it is mostly a sore throat and headache and really really tired. I am sitting here typing and Jim is cleaning the kitchen and basement. I wouldn't dream of spoiling his fun by offering to help :) He hopes to get some of the yard work done today, but he isn't frantic. The long range forcast is for decent weather for at least 2 weeks. It must be time for me to get my haircut too. It forms a PeeWee Herman peak every night. Not that good a look for me. I still have a couple of crates of tomatoes left in the shop. I hope Jim will take some to the Legion next week. We are going to be ordering some chickens and turkeys soon. They will fill the freezer up. Did you want any Pati?? I know you mentioned it. My life seems so boring when I read about yours. I seem to go to work and come home. It is time to take up a hobby again. I know that lots will be happening in the near future and I will be wishing for some downtime. Time to cook breakfast. Jim has worked up an appetite!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Be - another Saturday in the bag....

...and I am listening to Randy Bachman as I write, so all is good in the world haha. I went to Mothers today while Harry stayed home – it is his birthday today but had an ear ache so spent most of day in bed. Not so great on your birthday! I just had the dog down to the lake and what a glorious sight – the sun was shining on the far shore and reflecting off the still water while highlighting all the coloured trees. The leaves have changed very quickly and fully this year – brilliant reds, and yellows and most beautiful to see. If only they didn't signal the oncoming winter and snow! Mothers homemaker is off for two weeks (I think I told you this) so it enhances my visit chores somewhat to include the bed, more washing than usual and floors. The homemaker only has 1 hour and 15 minutes a week, but she changes and washes the bed linen which helps me with having to do the rest of the work. Enough..... lets talk about nice things - Del Shannon is singing "Runaway" right now and boy, does that bring back memories. I think this is why I enjoy this show so much – he often talks about Winnipeg, and always plays song from years back. His stories about all the singers and songs are fantastic, and his own history in the business brings it all to life. Patty you will be anxious about your trip and as I think about it myself, I will be anxious to hear all about it when you get back. Have fun, even though you don't take off until Sept 30, they always say the fun is in the journey, and not the destination. I was always thrilled with the anticipation of my trips, as much as the actual travel. That is what I missed this year – anticipating time away. I'll have to try to plan for another trip next year – maybe things will be different? Anyway, bed time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Darn good thing you trust her, but she sounds a little scatter-brained, to not make sure she had the product she needed, knowing why you were coming.  I had my hair cut last week, but there is no way I can get it looking like she did.  When I look at the strange lengths she has left in odd places, I begin to think that I got a very poor haircut.

The Juncos are back.  Every spring and every fall they pass through, spending 3-4 days at our feeder.  Unfortunately, we took it down awhile ago, as it only seemed to be attracting Grackles.  But Juncos are ground feeders, so David went out and spread some seeds on the ground for them.

Went out to see if I could get some travel size cosmetics today, as I've been told that I can only take one bag with me. Was having trouble with the cell phone, so stopped at the phone store.  It's a "take a number and wait" situation so I took #015, and they were serving #99.  good!  I should have enough time to get into Zellers and use the washroom.  Even took time to look around ladies' clothing--about 1/2 hour and went back to find they were now at #00.  O-o-o-k-a-a-y?  So I walked to the other end of the mall and bought a cheap book to read while I waited.  Got back after about 15 minutes and they were at #112.  Managed to read about 2 pages before my number was called.   Turns out I was trying to turn it on the wrong way.  Once he tried the right way--problem gone.  I was really worried that we might be forced to sign another contract, or buy another phone.

And that's the extent of my excitement today.

4 lane highway

As of this morning, the major highway from south to north, Highway #11, no longer runs through the centre of the Village of Sundridge. The majority of the traffic is now travelling along the new four lane route just opened,  that bypasses the village. I took the dog for a walk after supper up to the old highway and what a difference not to see constant flow of transports and other usual types of vehicles. I expect the noise level will also diminish as most nights I could hear the transports but the new four lane is to the north of us now and a fair distance away. There are businesses in town who will no doubt suffer from lack of drive by customers ie restaurants, gas station etc. I noticed that the chip truck vacated its location but that could also be just because the summer is over but it got a lot of drive bys. I got my hair done and it looks good, but it was a bit of a farce. As she completed wrapping half the head up in the curlers, she suddenly went into her store room and came back to say she had no boxes of perms in stock. OK, I thought, this is a bit strange but lets just see what happens!  She then tells me she'll be right back as she was going to run over to another hairdressers just around the corner to see if she had a box she could have. She left me sitting all along in her store with half my head done up. I thought if she couldn't get any, maybe I would just have a hair cut and that would satisfy my need for a change. But in she comes about ten minutes later with a box in her hand and saying "I got one, but it is organic and I've never used one of those before..." and out comes the printed paper instructions and she begins to read it out loud to me. Long story short, it worked just fine, but the smell was almost unbearable – similar to rotten potatoes. She flitted between me and two men haircuts and another lady haircut, but my times to sit with solutions etc were accurate, and everything seemed OK. I just thought it was a weird sort of afternoon. Maybe a nice break from the mundane????

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Too much fun....

You two are having far too much fun in your lives, but it makes for great reading on my part so glad of it – after all, mundane lives need some excitement haha.  I have a hair appt at 1 pm today which I booked last week, but apparently was not congruent with Harry's plans so he headed out early this morning to pick cranberries on his own. I have lots of work to keep me occupied here until my time to leave so hopefully will be a productive morning for me. I spent the late afternoon yesterday in the yard starting to take down tomato plants and stack the rings away. All the pots will have to be emptied and then also stacked but that will take time and probably most of the fall to complete. Lots of veg left in the house to do something with, and yet still more being purchased at the market and store. Approximately 30 packages of squash are in the freezer made in one day from all the squash purchased at the market over weekend. It is supposed to rain here this week as well, so that often puts a damper on outside work. But there is always the trips to Mothers to keep things lively! We went to North Bay yesterday to shop, and had a coffee with Mike at Tim Hortons – his treat. Nice to spend a little time with him, and get caught up a bit.  Well, time to get to work. By the end of the day I shall be "pretty, oh so pretty" with nice short curly hair. 'Bye

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

update on crack pots

well, one lady called to tell me that she had fallen in a puddle, and was soaked and freezing, and was heading home to warm up and wouldn't be coming.  So I called the van lady, who assured me that she had a new vehicle with a lower center of gravity and the rain was no problem.  Later she phoned back to tell me that it was now raining in her part of town, and she wouldn't be able to come, because her tummy was a little queazy.  Go figure!

Crock Pots and crack pots

I love to use my slow cookers, but have a hard time finding basic recipes.  I suppose they can all be stated quite simply as " Insert vegetables, add meat, sprinkle with seasoning, and add moisture.  Put on the lid".  The hardest part is remembering everybody's likes, dislikes, and allergies.  It is just such a stress-free way of producing a hot meal at a convenient time ( i.e. when we want it, not according to the clock.)  Now that there are just the two of us, it's also an easy way of making one for now and one for the freezer, since slow cookers work best if full.  One of the nicest slow cooker meals I remember was when Daddy died and a neighbour brought over a full slow cooker that we plugged in and forgot, while we spent the day making arrangements.  Finally got home exhausted and there was supper--ready to eat.  Don't even know her name.  I have several cookbooks, but all the recipes seem to require bizarre ingredients, or things like bacon or curry powder, that we just don't eat.

My Tuesday Stitchers are meeting today, at the home of a friend who lives out north of Bird's Hill.  When we go there we make very complicated arrangements for car pooling.  Today two of the ladies are coming here, where we will all three jump into one lady's van before driving over to pick up a fourth.  This allows for the one who doesn't drive on the highway, and the one whose driving is such that none of us will travel with her, as well as the one who has trouble planning a complicated trip, so couldn't pick the other lady up, even though it was on her way.  Took awhile to set up.  Now I get up and it's raining.  The lady who owns the van doesn't drive in the rain. Ar-r-r-gh!  Looks like I may end up driving the bunch of us. 

The clock is still running but is gaining time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Daddy's Ribs

That's what I made on Saturday night. Two large racks of ribs and a big pot of rice and nothing left. It was really good. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I made the meat roll after the 2 of you were talking about it. Nothing like getting good dinner ideas from the family. Any other suggestions? I bought 4 large blade steaks on sale today. Stew is in my future, as well as beef cooked in the crock pot.I froze a bunch of roma tomatoes today. Still lots more to ripen. I am hoping to take some tomatoes to the Legion to give away. I know that Ernie wants some. I cooked a cake to night for yet another funeral. They seem to be passing away faster now. I guess that comes with age. My last day of working alone. Patty is back tomorrow. I left her all the work I didn't get to today, but I at least got it ready for her to register. That is a time consuming job. I now have 8 plans to register. I hope I can get going on them this week. I don't like it when they back up on me like that. Had my first ACT meeting of the season yesterday. It went surprisingly well for everyone. We were done in just over 2 hours. I feel bad for the ones that drive for 3 hours for a 2 hour meeting. It could be worse I guess. At least Neepawa is sort of in the middle for everyone. Jim is settling in for the week of season premiers. He works everyday so he is setting up his timetable for recording just in case he doesn't get home in time. Season Premiers.... the first sign of winter. Hopefully it will be a short and unseasonably warm one.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not much going on

A quiet weekend again.  The church across the street had their big community B-B-Q yesterday, but I don't think anyone showed up!  Other years Amber has brought the girls and we've taken them over to the bouncer and then for a hot dog lunch.  With David not able to eat hot dogs, I went by myself, and didn't go into the basement for the carnival games, as those are for children.  What I could see from the top of the stairs was a basement floor that has obviously had a lot of work done.  I hope the job was a good one and there are no further problems.  Other years the place has been much busier, but it was a cold windy day, and not much walk-by traffic.

Amber brought the girls for supper.  I made a small batch of Daddy's ribs--but none left for the freezer.  And no rice left either.  I had hoped for enough for a supper later in the week, but there's lots more in the pantry.  I bought two packages of cooked, heat and serve meats that were on sale.  Both suggest serving over rice.  I also got my Kraft magazine ( I think I mentioned this) and have re-read it.  There are some very good suggestions for preparing chicken breasts that I want to try, and they are suggested to be served with rice.

I leave for Penticton on Friday Sept 30 and come back on Tuesday October 4th.  I won't get home in time to vote in the provincial election, so plan to try out the advance poll.  I've never done that before, so have bookmarked the web page with all of the info.  It looks easy enough to do.  I'm excited about this trip, as I realize that it may be the last one.  Next year is in Comox, and the costs of just getting there might prove too much.  Since I haven't even tried to sell any of my work since last spring, I find it hard to justify using household money for just my benefit.  I spent a bit on supplies this week and feel quite guilty about it.

This is just a quick before bed note.  Will try to post a little more in the next day or so.

&^^%$## BLOG

I have been trying to get onto this blog since Friday. Finally, tonight, it let me on, after asking for my cel phone number. I found a spot that said "skip this step" and hit it.... voila!!! I have nothing important to say, but I was really upset that I couldn't say it!!! We finally got rid of the dog we were babysitting.... Cory came over last night and got her. She howled Thursday night... I have no idea why. Fall meetings are in place... we had an ACT meeting today.. I have divided loyalties.... I am president of VCC, and the ACT meeting was at VCC, but the meeting room was locked!! ACT is asking for a refund on the room rental. Even as Pres of VCC, I think they deserve it. The room we found open was too small for us, but we made it work.. Rrain is very upset, because the room was not to be locked. One more day and Patty is back at work. I think I will fall at her feet and thank her..... I have 7 plans to register (just in the last week) Elizabeth (the boss) was really good about doing searches for me while Patty was gone but I was still behind because of having to do everything else. (bitch bitch bitch) Jim has been busy hauling potatoes.. He had to work this morning, but only until 12. I was at my meeting by then. He made supper for us tonight. I was nice to have the night off. I have no idea what I will make tomorrow.... sandwiches??? I can hardly wait til payday!! Too may unexpected expenses. I was expecting a free month from Hydro ( we are on the budget) but, for some reason, I had to pay over $200... not in my plans!! Both vehicles ran out of gas... I have no idea what Jim put in the van today.... I will ask tomorrow. I have tomatoes to freeze tomorrow. I am done canning... I am just going to freeze some Romas. The rest we will take to the Legion for free pickup... I have enough canned and in the freezer. The carrots, beets and onions are still in the garden, but they can wait for a while. I think I am going to drown my sorrows about being broke by buying myself something... I really want some kind of ebook ready or a tablet or something to amuse myself.... I am really grateful that Keri is home to advise me on what I want.

And a good Sunday to you all....

And I see no action on the blog over weekend so glad I didn't miss anything while been away. Perhaps Patty decided to fly off instead to her Fibre Arts Retreat? Hope all is well with everyone. Pretty much the same here, with my visit and sleep over to Mothers on weekend. She did have two extractions and the consequent need for extra help. It was very nice on Saturday because daughter Donna came in the morning and stayed for the day. I made lunch for the three of us and then left about 2 pm and she stayed to get Mother supper and into bed before leaving herself. She and I had some good conversations together in between speaking with and assisting Mother and we seem to be on the same wavelength about a lot of things related to this situation. I noticed a posted message downtown on the bulletin board that the Legion is starting up with the cribbage night next week. I immediately thought of you Cathy and in my imaginative mood, thought of joining and playing myself and winning the tournaments and then meeting up with you at Nationals. Crazy, fleeting thoughts while walking the dog but fun nevertheless. It won't ever happen! However, I know that you and Jim are probably already vying for the Branch title? And what about another play for the fall – anything in the works? Well, a quick shot of galliano while I write and then to bed. Tomorrow it is to Mothers again. Take care.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Be - Hello from afar....

Still here but have been unable to sit and write. Today we take Mother to Dentists this afternoon because of ongoing c/o and she may have to have extractions. Consequently I am taking my own car and Harry will take the van as well to transport her with wheelchair etc. and I have packed my sleep over bag because if worse comes to worse ( and it always does) I am always the one who has to stay. So I go prepared in both material things as well as attitude.  And with ideas for puree food to feed her.
Frost last two nights with more expected over weekend – picked most of veg which is now sitting on tables in front room. Harry has gone to pick more chokecherries and if we didn't have to go to Mothers we would have gone to cranberry marsh to pick more of them. This morning is the only time I have for housework so have been hard at it. But I did make an appt for hair for next wed so that I have to look forward to haha.  So have a nice weekend and I'll hope to communicate again soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

forgot to tell you

With the painting we had to move the clock.  Before putting it back David cleaned it up, and actually got it running!  Poor thing hasn't run in several years.  Even before then it usually stopped at 8:10, several times a week. Anyway, it's been running for 3 days now--no chimes--but running.  We had enquired about having it professionally fixed but there was only one place in town that would do it, and if I remember, they wanted almost $400 just to look at it.  It had been a little dusty, but no where near as dirty as Julie's, when we picked it up for Kris and Sandy.  I remember how annoyed Phyllis got when we mentioned it.  Did that one ever get running again, Cathy?

Too Soon Fall!

The whole neighbourhood appears to be getting ready for winter.  It's cold enough to turn the heat on, but David and I are stubborn, so we're both wearing jackets in the house today. David spent some time clearing the eavestrough today.  We knew it needed doing, but had been putting it off, mainly because we both know what a filthy job it is.  Well, the back of the house was quite bad, but he got through the other three sides in jig time.  Put away the plastic picnic table, but left out the wooden one Dad made and two chairs.  Lion, of course, prefers to remain out in the sun until Thanksgiving.

One thing I've found I miss, is making and freezing apple pies, with apples from our tree (the one we got rid of a couple of years ago).  So I think, as soon as I get back from out West, we'll be buying some apples.

Went for allergy testing today, and after he heard my story the Dr. decided not to proceed.  He felt that the extreme reaction I had was basically in response to Niacin, and unlikely to ever happen again.  The steps we've already taken are probably as much as they could recommend.  So I have no idea where to go from here.  How do I respond when asked if I have allergies?  Answer yes and then say that I have no idea what they might be?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Double boiler ?

I looked down the basement this afternoon for a double boiler that I know I have but couldn't find it. It is a glass one that I got decades ago and thought I could try some porridge for myself just like you have been mentioning Patty. So tomorrow while in North Bay at the cheapy stores, I will see if I can get one but somehow doubt that they will be readily available, and really don't think that I want to buy a new one at this time. Really busy at Mothers today not only in making lunch, but also in the garden digging all the carrots up, and then weeding, and then helping Harry transplant the rhubarb patch. We got home a little later than usual so consequently got little done around here. Just as well maybe because we can now hold off doing down all those apples until Wednesday which will be a big job ( remember Wed is my 'free' day that I look forward to during the week haha ) Anyway, short and sweet tonight in message writing but always good to keep in contact. Take care

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Same wavelength

You mentioned the French Meat Roll, which is exactly what we had for supper tonight.  Started the day off heading out for a bike ride, only to discover that my rear tire was flat--again.  David has spent hours trying to patch it, but for the last time.  We will see about replacing both the tire and tube tomorrow.  So we were forced to consider breakfast at home.  If you remember I had spoken awhile ago about how much I enjoyed the rolled oats cooked in the double boiler.  I've considered buying one before as it's the only way to make Seven Minute Frosting.  They're expensive little buggers!  We also need a new grill.  While we were in WalMart, Friday, David suggested that we check prices for both.  I found the cutest little double boiler--blue enamel and only about 4 cups in size--for $14.97.  Of course, we bought it.  Didn't buy a grill though.  So for breakfast we cooked Red River Cereal.  I chose to eat mine outside and one thing led to another, and I ended up doing a fair bit of sunprinting today. 

Isn't my life exciting?? 

I spent the morning in the studio and have actually a couple of pieces in mind, and/or in progess.  The ideas are coming fast, since I gave up the coffee.  I still get tired and still nap, but my thinking is so very much clearer.  I don't have the allergy testing until next Friday, but I have a sense that it may prove interesting.

Be - with glass of wine in hand...... I am. The next door neighbours gave Harry a box of beer and me a bottle of Pelee Island wine for vegetables that we give them on a regular basis. They didn't have to, and we have told them we want nothing for the veg we give them but nevertheless there they are with gifts in hand.  So I opened the bottle of wine this afternoon and have my second goblet beside me now. Spent the afternoon picking up apples off the ground, those that were free fall, and those that Harry shook off the tree while I held the ladder. Yesterday he bought a squash at the market that was two feet across (I'm sure). So this morning it was cooked up and most of it frozen except what we had for supper and what I shall take to Mothers tomorrow. He went to garage sales Sat and I went to Mothers. Same old story......this afternoon I felt I wanted to do something for myself so went into my studio (haha to think I have a studio) and did a bit of knitting on my prayer shawl until Harry decided that I should pick up apples. Wouldn't you know it, the little cat thought I had left heaven for him and had my ball of warn all over the hall floor. Too bad for him, and me, as it is now all put away safely. I watched two movies last night – Harry bought a little DVD player at a garage sale a few weeks ago and it is actually great for me – I lay on the bed and watch it – small screen but quite nice. Self contained machine with a little screen and all you do is plug it in, although it has a battery which I could use anywhere if I wanted.  I watched Shanghai Noon, and Night at the Roxbury both of which were given to me by Mike, and also two of my all time favourites. Two weeks ago I watched The Red Violin which Mike also gave me – remember Cathy I brought this one when I came last year and we watched it at your place. Not having much luck with Lottery tickets lately – not even a free ticket so can't help you out right now – although I am sure our luck will change and we'll be in the money soon– so get ready for your train trip across Canada haha Listening all day to the 10th anniversary of 911 – sad to hear about it again, but on a happier note, Cross Country Check up on CBC had a live broadcast from Gander where many of the diverted planes landed 10 years ago, and it was a light hearted show with lots of laughs about what they did with all the stranded passengers, and all the friendships made during that time. Thanks again for that salsa recipe as I have really enjoyed the taste on many different food items. Tomorrow I plan to make French Meat Roll at Mothers and will take some to put on that as well. By the looks of the tomatoes yet to redden in the garden, and the pending frost that is sure to hit us soon, I expect that I can make some more quite easily. I have already made three batches of zucchini muffins to use up some of it, but then I like them and eat them all up. So much for the weight reduction! Take care as we approach another full week of fun and adventure.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Morning

Jim is hauling potatoes again and had to be at work by 6am, so we were up at 5 (Aren't you supposed to sleep in on weekends?) It is now 9am, and I have a batch of tomato junk cooling and a batch of sauce simmering. I have even partly cleaned up the kitchen. We will make salsa either later today or tomorrow. We are supposed to cool down next week and they are predicting frost. Hard to believe when it has been 32 degrees out. One more week of being REALLY short staffed at work and then we will be back to 4 of us (instead of 5 since Debbie is still off sick. She has applied for long term disability but until she is accepted we can't replace her) I paid all my bills this payday, but it left me very short for the next 2 weeks. Good thing we have lots of food in the house. A freezer full of meat and vegetables. We will check on the chickens and turkeys in the next couple of weeks. It is time to think about that sort of thing. Rrain wants turkey for her birthday. Of course, since it is Thanksgiving it will not be an unusual meal. We will have pumpkin pie too! The truck is working out quite nice. It costs a fortune to fill, so we try to keep it above 1/2 so that the price is not too much of a shock. It is comfortable to ride in and we have already used it to haul wood and garbage. I don't really want winter to come, but I am really looking forward to not getting stuck every time it snows. Time to go and be domestic again. I want to get it all done before it hits 32. Then I will sit and read!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Still here

David and I have had a couple of difficult days this week, as neither of us has been getting any sleep.  This means days of wandering around in a fog.  I spent some time trying to figure out what the problem is and how long it's been growing.  Finally suspected a link to a change in laundry detergent.  Still using the hypo-allergenic ones, but had changed to a less expensive one about 6 weeks ago.  So yesterday we washed all the bedding in the house with the more expensive brand.  Both of us slept well last night.  Mind you, we were both exhausted and had a glass of wine before bed.  We'll see how it goes tonight. 

We succumbed, and ended up making another batch of salsa.  This time I followed the recipe a little more closely, and the taste is very subtly different.  I'm not sure which one I prefer.  We've also spent a bit of time over the past week in filling the freezer.  We actually bought a small beef roast--a rare occurance around here--and ended up with four meals out of it, so stayed within my meat budget.  I've always budgetted $2.00/person/day for meat, and generally keep to it, but it's getting much harder with the cost of meat rising.  When we were first married we only ate meat every second day, and still have a meatless meal every once in awhile.  Probably healthier for us that way.  Anyway, it's a good feeling to have the freezer filling up again.

We'll still be looking for more poultry this fall, Cathy.  We've had bad expereiences with turkeys more than once this year, and have now decided not to accept them from grocery stores, even if they do give them away free, once in awhile.

Off to the doctor today, and he's started me on a calcium supplement.  For some reason they can't find the report from the bone density test, and the supplement is jsut a precaution until he gets the results, but maybe I can relax a bit with trying to get all of that yogurt and milk into me.  After the doctors appointment, we went to Timmie's for breakfast and had the new Maple Cinnamon French Toast bagel.  It costs more, but what a treat!

So life goes on.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Be - Another job done

Good to get the roof completed – piece of mind after a few years of contemplation. Took two full days for roofers and most of work apparently is hauling off the old shingles – many trips made with a full trailer taken to the dump. I went to Mothers solo again today – Harry has another bout of gout and had to take to bed. Always a pleasure for me to be there so I make the best of it otherwise difficult to manage. Then I had to cut our grass, take a load to the garbage dump and water the garden and planters. I will be glad to get to bed tonight – hope to read more of the P D James novel that I have on the go right now which is almost finished and has been a real challenge to read except for the plot which is proving to be good – I really don't know "who dun it". Tomorrow should be OK as it is what I call a "free" day but that is not the right word as it is never free. Hard to believe we are into September already. I am thinking about getting another permanent done as it is certainly past due by the looks of my poor hair. I have a luncheon date booked for October 12 with my friend Sue. We go twice a year in Spring and Fall and always nice to have something to look forward to. But then I am forgetting about my annual physical booked for October 28 – who can deny great anticipation for that yearly event haha. Well must take dog for a walk and then think about retiring. Take care

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Be - A quick message

I, too, send a quick message to keep in touch. Busy last two days and today the roofers started the roof. There are shingles all over the ground on tarps as they left them until tomorrow. Quite a mess but I am sure will be cleaned up before the task is completed - I hold the $$ cheque in my hand after all, so I guess I can control that a bit?
You spoke of a fire Cathy, and besides bringing back all sorts of happy memories it reminded me to tell you that my wonderful fire stove outside on the patio fell over last week. I found it one morning, and by the looks of it being made of iron and sitting on a pedestal, the iron rotted at the bottom and the stove part fell off the pedestal. More disturbing for me is that I have had a little tee pee made of paper and twigs to start a fire in the stove for over three years and always wanting to have a fire but never did. As I removed the heavy iron door, there was my tee pee all in place as if just waiting for a match to be struck and a smile to appear on my face. Not to be I guess. Oh well, can't be helped and now it is time for bed as tomorrow will bring forth lots of work as evidenced by the baskets of produce waiting to be done up. Take care

Monday, September 5, 2011


Neither David nor I slept well last night, and then both of us had a full day.  He cooked a turkey and I had five hours together with my Ravenesque group, then Amber and the girls came over for supper.  I got a lot of hand sewing done today, but not as much as I had hoped.  Tomorrow we deal with the turkey, but there should still be time for a few minutes in the studio and maybe some pictures.

So just a minute to say hello and then tell you that I think tonight I'll be gratefulfor a comfy bed  and a glass of wine to send me there.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Treasure hunt

Because we had to put the salsa on the shelves under the stairs, David had to clean up the shelves.  Simple enough--NOT!  It took most of the morning, and we found all sorts of things that we had forgotten about.  A couple were Daddy's knitting machine and thermos.  The thermos was quite rusty inside and had to go.  We have tried several times, unsuccessfully, to get parts or repairs to the knitting machine, so, unless either of you want to take a stab at it, it looks like it will go as well.  I have to wonder if there might not be someone else  who has a similar machine and is looking for parts.  I now know that I have enough wrapping paper to last the rest of my life.  We also found enough jelly jars to last for the rest of our lives.  I found a box of hand-painted ceramic tiles. They are very pretty in a Mexican sort of way, and each is obviously one of a kind,  So now the whole area is neat and tidy, and there is room to turn around, although not enough room to swing a cat.

Our salsa  is quite mild as well, which is the only way David could eat it.  We seeded the jalapeno, not realizing that it was the seeds that gave it the heat.  Tried it with peskies today.  Quite fine!  When I use salsa, I toast the bread first and it makes a very pleasant difference.

My friend Dianne told me today that she and her husband are being evicted, as the building has been sold.  Nothing in writing yet, but they were told that they have to be out by January first, despite the fact that they are operating a business.  They were also told that, even though the building will probably be demolished, they had to leave all of the leasehold improvements they have made including those for the household. They are very suspicious, for a number of reasons, and friends have gifted them the services of a lawyer.  I sure hope it works out for them.  They have suffered a lot of hard knocks over the past two years and deserve a break. 

Today I'm grateful for a stable lifestyle.

last one done

You both beat us to the salsa. We have 13 pints of mild salsa done, but not until later this afternoon. It is very tasty, even though it is surprisingly mild ( we did put in some jalapenos, but not the seeds) This morning I did some tomato sauce..... 14 cups. I would still be making junk and tomato sauce but we ran out of garlic.... we can't do without garlic! I swear the tomatoes were ripening as I picked. I went down the row and when I turned around there were more ripe ones, I intend to take tomorrow off, but I might get some garlic and continue. The best thing about this time of year is that you don't have to explain why your kitchen is so messy!! Everyone understands. I am leaving the root crops until last. We had a frost warning last night so I went out in the dark at about 9:30 and tried to cover the tomatoes and peppers. It got down to 7...... that is a long way from frost! Jim is going to have a fire tonight. It gets dark early now, so I might be able to stay awake.. I am really tired. It's not that I did anything hard, but I guess standing there cutting and chopping is stressful on the body. I will enjoy the fire for a little while. Jim starts hauling potatoes on Friday. I teased him about how nice it will be not to have him around all the time.... I think he is reconsidering the work! He will be working at leasts 12 hour days for about 2 weeks without a break. It pays cash, though, and he wants running boards and mud flaps on the truck. ( I want to get the dog neutered and shots for both of them.... I wonder how far the cash will go) Today I am once again grateful to be alive.

Be - Salsa all around

Just thought you would like to know that it is now really a family thing. I just bottled a batch of Salsa that I made this morning. Most ingredients I picked from the garden but I did go to the store to buy some fresh basil. I made a half batch but I don't think the amounts were exact even though it still turned out just fine. This is where you state Cathy that you can adapt it to your own taste?  Dave's comment last night on the blog encouraged me to take a stab at it this morning especially when I knew I had most of the ingredients. Now when I use it I shall be thinking of you all. Take care

Saturday, September 3, 2011


That salsa is so-o-o-o go-o-d!

Be - your exciting adventures

You both put me to shame with your exciting days – or perhaps I just can't see all the excitement I could be having at Mothers on my own. Maybe I should have another look – no, I'm right, no excitement at all !!  But another day is in the bag, and I have survived. Tonight is Saturday night and always my favourite night of all to listen to the radio– Vinyl Tap with Randy Bachman, and then Saturday Night Blues with Holger Peterson. And I'm into the cranberry juice right now – yeah for cranberry juice as I have that "feeling" down there and trying to nip in in the bud but I think it may have the better of me this time. Highlight of the day was to have a great conversation on the phone with son Mike at supper time. He bought me a bottle of Galliano a few weeks ago and I have a shot of it once in awhile before bed – warms the heart and the soul! At one time I would mix it to make a Harvey Wallbanger but these days take it straight up! I guess tonight I'll have to pass in lieu of the cranberry juice haha  I love your descriptive prose Patty because I can just picture you there in the kitchen – both of you – "discussing" your activity. Nice to have a beautiful new blue kitchen though, eh? Well, enough for now ... must turn the radio on. Take care and enjoy all your Salsa treats – thanks Cathy for telling us about its merits – I think I might just try some. Oh, by the way I was thinking of you both at Mothers today because I made the Salmon Ball Casserole from you Cathy, and a great big batch of Cinnamon Buns covered in sticky icing from a recipe I got from you Patty! That was the best part of my visit there today – so Thanks!

another Saturday--another adventure

We started out this morning full of excitement, but without any money.  So to the credit union, then to buy gas, by which time I needed a bathroom.  When we finally hit Henderson Hwy we were racing the rain.  Yes!  We have rain!  Exciting--unless you're trying to buy veggies at farmers' stalls along the edge of the highway.  We got some nice Manitoba tomatoes--far too many and we may be sick of them before long.   There were certainly not as many stalls as I seem to remember from a past life. We saw some very pitiful tomatoes out there!  Most of the veggies ended up coming from the grocery store. Of course, when you go to the grocery store there are half a dozen things you hadn't planned to buy, but suddenly realize that you need.  The veggies for a half batch of salsa cost almost $80.00, by the time we were finished shopping.

Home again, home again.  Chop, chop and chop some more.  Blanching tomatoes--say what?? Off to my trusty Bettter Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  Whoops!  It seems that they only blanche veggies to freeze and no-one ever froze tomatoes in those days.  Finally found a special mention of peeling tomatoes under the section on canning.  That lead to a "discussion" about how to do it.  So I'm blanching and peeling, and he's cutting them up when it becomes obvious that we have far too many tomatoes, and he's strongly suggesting that I stop. Strongly suggesting. Next we have a discussion on how to chop cilantro--yes, I added a bit of cilantro as it was cheap. Whoops, no oregano--well, we'll use italian seasoning instead, after all, Cathy said we could adapt the recipe as necessary. Finally everything is in the pot.  There are four cups of chopped pepper on the table, which we'll have to freeze ( just as I planned but don't tell anyone.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!).  The heat is on and the gentle smell starts to waft towards us.  Then the not-so-gentle smell.  Seems like I used a little too much garlic.  So time to relax, and I bought a bag of taco chips for later.  Probably break out the strong drink as well.

For today, I'm considering being grateful for the idea of adventure Saturdays.  This is the second one, and I think the whole concept has possibilities.

Salsa (part 2)

I use salsa on lots of things. It is good on hamburgers (or in hamburgers for that matter) Taco's without question. Rrain can't eat taco chips, so she uses thin triscuits as tacos and grates cheese on them, heats them and eats them with salsa. I have put it in scrambled eggs. It works better if you put it on the eggs after they are cooked. I have cooked it with the eggs but it all sort of mixed together and I had pink eggs. They tasted good, but lacked in presentation! it works on fried eggs too. I guess a good way to describe it is that I use it as a condiment, like catsup. It really pairs well with anything with cheese. Use it on pasta. Anything you want! Now I am getting hungry! It is going to rain again today (YEAH) but I need to get into the garden and get some onions, peppers, tomatoes etc. I just hate getting to work first thing on a Satuday. I want to chill out for a while. Unfortunately I end up relaxing all day! It's a long weekend! Yippee!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Good Question!

Thank you for the salsa recipe Cathy.  I had actually looked it up on Google and what I found ( with great difficulty!!)was nothing like yours.  But I had wanted something that I could freeze or preserve, and an 8 oz jar is just about a perfect size.  The ones I found weren't cooked, and had lime juice and cilantro in them. David isn't fond of it, so I may just get myself some jalepeno pepper.  Naturally, David is sugggesting cutting the recipe by 3/4, until I'm sure I want more!

But Beth asks a good question.  What do you plan to do with it Cathy?  Peskies of course, and it can make a nice topping for a baked  potato--especially for those of us who have a fat and salt restriction, but that's about all I've done with it.  ( Of course, we're ignoring taco chips--none of us would ever eat them!).  In my search for a recipe for how to actually make the stuff, I found all sorts of recipes using it.  Maybe I should go back and take a look at them.  They were on both the Kraft foods and Tostitos web sites.

When I was sunprinting with the girls, I promised to make something with the sunprints they made.  Amber suggested little tote bags for when they spend the night with the other grandmother.  Today I made up four little tote bags.  I started early this morning, worked all day except for a brief nap (Can't miss my nap!), and finished about 8:00pm.  David cooked supper.  So, for today, I'm darn grateful that job is done!  Seriously though, I'm also grateful for a husband who understand giving priority to making something for his grandchildren.


This is the recipe that Rrain uses. She reduces the Jalapenos and adds garlic. It can be adjusted at will. This recipe makes about 20 8 oz jelly jars.

4 quarts tomatoes peeled & chopped
1 qt onions chopped
2 c celery chopped
1 1/2 c green peppers chopped
1 1/2 red peppers chopped
6 jalapeno peppers, chopped...... WEAR RUBBER GLOVES TO CHOP
1 tbsp pickling salt
1 1/2 c vinegar
4, 5 1/2 oz cans fo tomato paste
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 c white sugar

Bring to a boil, reduce 45 - 60 minutes
pack in jars and let seal

I had lots of ambitious plans for this evening (eg vacuuming, washing jars, etc) I think I will sit and read a book. Rrain & I will pick up some supplies tomorrow and can and freeze stuff this weekend. I have a bit of corn (not much) and lots of carrots and beets. We will use the tomatoes in salsa and tomato sauce. We may even take some girl time and soak in the hot tub with Kristy. My first week is over. The next two will, be harder as we lost our summer student today, and Mallorie is still away next week. The week after that Patty is gone and that means I get to do 3 entire jobs all by myself. I figure that if I fall behind there is nothing they can do about it unless they do the work themselves. There is a chance (very faint) chance that we may be able to advertise for a term position in our office. Even if that happens it will be next year before it is filled. Patty and I have decided not to bust ourselves to keep up. We will never get help if they don't think we need it. I am grateful that it is a long weekend and that my daughter and I will have time together to do things.

Be - Pickles, salsa etc

Everyone is into the preserving and "doing something with veggies" mode. I have just made a batch of bread and butter, and did tomato juice already. I find that I will drink tomato juice more than I might use sauce, or in your case salsa, but only because I don't know what to do with it. On peskies sounds great but then I can never actually make peskies around here. It is threatening to storm, and wouldn't you know it, with the roofers coming any day just what I didn't want. I tidied up a bit more around the yard today so they might actually have room to move about. I hope they can! Yes, the long weekend is upon us. I guess I'll be going to Mothers tomorrow – perhaps Harry will be going to garage sales. Mother will be in a pensive mood as daughter Donna takes her son Ryan to Peterborough this weekend to move into residence as he will be attending University there this year. Sir Stanford Fleming I think is the name of the University. Anyway, this is all we have being hearing lately and it gets a bit much.  So I will wish everyone a good weekend as well, and hope maybe I can get to write a few words to keep in touch, but if not, until next week.................take care. Can't tell you how happy I am to be able to get on again – even if it is a bit weird in the manner I have to go about it.


I have never made salsa and would love some guidance on how to go about it.  I have no tomatoes, but could go out to St. Norbert tomorrow and get some.  I've also been buying bottled bruschetta stuff.  similar to salsa, but with more basil ( much more basil!) and more oil.  I use both on Peskies, under the cheese.  I'm sure the salsa would be healthier for me than the bruschetta stuff.  Is there a recipe?  Do you bottle it or freeze it, or make it in small batches?  Well, you've got a busy day today, and may not be able toget back to me, so I'm just going to phone.

Glad Jim is okay after the surgery, Cathy.  I know it's in and out in hours, but anything like that is scarey at our age.  Maybe we should be grateful for our health, such as it is.  There is always someone worse off.

I'm very disappointed in my new kitchen.  All that work and it looks great--but it still gets dirty!  Bummer!  Yes , it's time to start cleaning the kitchen again.  Maybe after I make the salsa.  A long weekend, and not many plans.  Hope it's a good one for everyone. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


It finally rained last night. Lots of thunder and lightening but on a scant 1/4 inch of rain. Still, it's a 1/4 more than we have had in a couple of months. Jim finally had his operation yesterday. It was originally scheduled for last May! Everything went fine and he was released before 4pm. It was just a small hernia this time, unlike the last one. He didn't sleep well last night. With the storm, the cat was in the house (read our bed) and kept trying to lie on Jim, The thunder brought Nika upstairs for comfort and she sat beside Jim. We have another funeral today. It will be a big one. They are holding the celebration of life at the Legion, and they are going to try to fix the sound system up so that it will broadcast in the clubroom for the overflow. I will go home at 1pm and bring Jim in. The funeral is at 2, so he'll either have to sit st the back for an hour before it starts and go downstairs and be stuck there. I was going to take a late lunch and go, but if I have to pick up Jim I will not be able to do that. I will see what I can arrange, but I don't think I would get any thing out of sitting in the club room listening. I am taking another Lemon Cake for the lunch. People seem to like the Lemon Cake because there is never any left over. At least my cake pan gets washed that way.We have tomatoes ready to go, so Rrain will be making Salsa this weekend. I will make tomato sauce next week with the next batch. We never did get many cucumbers. Just enough to pick and eat. I do have someone that wants some zuchini so I will take some today. Rrain bought a bunch of tea when she was in Winnipeg. This morning I am drinking Bourban Vanilla. It is very good. Today I am grateful for the good things that happen, even if they seem small at the time.