Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Who was your teacher, Cathy?  I have an acquaintance, Linda Glowacki, who teaches this, but I know there are others.  My wrists just won't allow me to do needle felting by hand, so I stick to my little machine.  Your report spurred my creativity and I've produced three backgrounds to do some surface work on.  I wish I could do the dimensional work.  The little animals are so cute, and such a hit as gifts. 

I have never made sausages, and never want to.  The one time I was tempted was after eating a "Mealy Jimmie" at the Scottish Pavilion at Folklorama.  It is basically our Scottish Oatmeal Dressing put into a large sausage  caseing and baked.  But I have a fantastic recipe for a caserole using sausage meat, wild and white rice and French's deep fried onions.  It has always been a family favourite, but one I haven't made in awhile.

Yesterday we went to Lee Valley to buy another package of four stacking containers for beads.  I knew that I would need a few for the beads I had in the box so ended up buying 12 of them.  Yep, you guessed it--all gone. Then late this afternoon, I discovered yet another shoe box full of beads!  I've ordered some fabric from the store in Plumas, and David didn't want to pay shipping, so we've arranged for him to go and pick it up when we come up on March 3rd.  So it looks like he'll be coming with me.that day as well as on Feb 13th.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I had a great time with Rrain at the needle felting class. The things we made were so easy. We all made snowmen (Mine turned out way bigger than the others) and then we made anything we wanted. I made a mouse. It is hard to believe that there is not a single drop of glue or stitch in either of them. Rrain bought a big bag of wool and two needles. I didn't realize that she would have wool for sale and had no money on me. But we stuffed Rrain's bag really full, so I can make something else. Yesterday I made my turkey dinner. It turned out really well, but we will be having left overs for a while. I made turkey stock, but I had to store it outside because the fridge was so full. Unfortunately the dogs found it this morning (my bad) They got into the bones and meat, but not the stock itself. They didn't get many bones or I would be really worried.I have today and tomorrow off work and I have no plans at all. Okay, the fridge and freezer need cleaning, but that is it. I want to put all the frozen "leftovers" into the fridge freezer so that people will find them when they are looking for a quick meal. I know Rrain wanted the cabbage rolls the other day and couldn't find them. She had canned soup instead, poor thing. Both Jim and Rrain have developed a real loving of the store made sausages from Shop Easy. I will admit they are good. They were better when Kris made them, but he seems to have a knack for creating things. I am going to have to get some instruction from Kris and make some of my own, because they can really go through those things! Our Puppy is really growing now. You can see the change in her. At three months she is still a baby, though, and does baby things. We can tire her out by going for a walk around the trail.... yes, we can still get around the trail.... there is so little snow this year. She has started to try and follow the other dogs when they leave the trail but on her the snow we have seems deep and she bounds through it. By the time she reaches where the dogs were, they are long gone, so she bounds back to us. No wonder we tire her out. I am going to try to post a picture of them. (once I take one) A beginner's work, but I am very proud of them. I finally did something artistic!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The Bill Connolly that Dad knew had a son, also named Bill.  David met him years ago through the Dept.of Highways.  I have no idea whether he, himself,  might have also had a son.  When David met him, he was still living in that part of the country.  Darren might know, but I haven't been able to touch base with them all weekend. I don't know what they might be up to.

Sausages and snowblowers

The sausages are made and in the freezer – I just couldn't bring myself to cooking some tonight – too close to the actual making of them to suit me which I could not explain to Harry. But he bought a snow blower off Kijiji today and we drove to Sturgeon Falls to pick it up and then stopped into the Reserve on the way back and bought some frozen pickerel fillets – that's what we had for supper. It has snowed all day and piling up quickly but I have to admit my previous, present and ongoing reticence to using a snow blower which apparently, must change immediately! I guess I will have to see how I shall get by with using a snow blower instead of the exercise intensive shovelling that I so loved?
I must tell you of a weird coincidence that caught me off guard on Friday – I  was listening to a CBC radio show called "Living Out Loud" and the title of this show was The Ice, Snow and Hockey Show. During the segment on The Ice and Snow they interviewed Bill Connolly of Wallace Lake who talked about trapping and the wilderness and the snow around his cabin and Lake and suddenly I stopped what I was doing and wondered how on earth did they have Bill Connolly of Wallace Lake talking to them?? Was I in another dimension or could this be THE Bill Connolly of Wallace Lake – friend to Daddy, and familiar to me as I had visited him at this very cabin????   What do you think? I know for a fact that he could not be living still and if so, still living at his cabin on Wallace Lake! I even went into CBC.ca/livingoutloud just now for Jan 27 show and relistened to the broadcast again. I am sure I am losing it! Anyway, it has been a very busy, and long weekend, and maybe I should just go to bed and sleep it off haha! Take care everyone

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Turkey, too

Turkey  is a regular part of out diet.  But we are very dependant on Cathy for our lovely Hutterite turkeys. Sure don't ever want to have to get one from a grocery store again!  We usually freeze it in gravy in meal size portions, and have it it every couple of weeks or so. Tonight we had a special meal--steak, home fried potatoes and fried mushrooms.  This was a real treat.  I can't remember the last time we had it.  I've been under the weather the last couple of days and not eating, so by supper time I was really hungry.

I completely re-organized my beads. Instead of having every different bead in it'sown container, I put them into bags by colour.  I came to realize that I usually work with several different types of bead, although within one colour family.  Hopefully, this will make the whole collection easier to manage.Unfortunately, when I was about finished, I found a whole shoe box full of more beads.  Ah well, another day.  I promised myself a "fun" day, when the job was done, so I have plans for tomorrow.  I have a small pile to share with my Ravenesque group, and a couple of small bags that I plan to offer to Amber in hopes that Samantha's nursery school might be able to use them. I'm pretty sure that Amber won't want them for her children to throw all over their bedroom floors. Amber called this morning to cancel their visit tomorrow, so we haven't had a chance to talk about any plans for summer.

Thursday we were off to the library.  Puddles everywhere.  Just about the same thing yesterday when we were shopping.  I imagine it will be your way tomorrow, Beth.  Almost scarey isn't it?  While David was in the library, I stepped into Giant Tiger. There was an older, somewhat dishevelled man who was talking loudly about the prices he was finding, and comparing them to prices in other local stores.  Unfortunately, his loud talk was obscenity laden, "  Holy F-- will you look at that!  F--king 87 cents!"   He and I had quite a chat about the price of rice. But everyone was quietly giggling, as they listened to him. Then I spoke to the checker who told me that she had been forced to retire early, but that her former company was so happy to see her go they fully funded her pension, and she was dancing all the way to the bank.  Then we had a chat about how older workers are treated in the workplace.  Are your shopping trips ever like this,  or is it just me?


Funny you mention a turkey as I have one outside on the front stairs – I use the front stairs as a freezer in the winter and this year came in really handy as I moved food from Mothers freezers to here – a lot I threw out but there was still some stuff OK like all the vegetables from the garden that I froze this summer. But we bought some turkeys on sale before Christmas and since we had no room here I put them into Mothers refrigerator freezer to store and there was one left which is now on my front stairs. But with the mild weather lately I have had my eye on it and wondering if we will have to have a turkey dinner sometime soon. So far it is solid frozen in spite of the rain last week, but I don't want to take any chances. In my cleaning up and trying to make order out of chaos ( will never happen haha) I have been bringing extra small appliances upstairs to clean and see if they work. We must have about five of everything! anyway, one real find for me was the electric meat grinder – I have had a real desire to make a real shepherds pie with ground up roast beef such as we had at home. My pies have usually been ground beef (hamburger meat) based of late. So as I cleaned it up and feeling happy to find it again Harry got interested and decided to make some sausages with it as it has that attachment. This morning we went to Sprucedale to check on the house, and then directly to North Bay to check on Mikes place and his cat. While there we went into No Frills and Harry bought ground pork and beef and then we went to a Butcher store and I bought some intestines for casing – tomorrow we make sausages!! Mike is in Gogama up North, on an outdoors Course, so we had to check on his cat. He is really loving having a little cat and it makes good company for him – that is when he is home! There was a big notice taped to his door from the Financial Institution that has taken over the mortgage from the previous owners, and it states "notice" that they are selling it under a power of sale, and Mike must comply with all requests to show the apt to prospective buyers on 24 hours notice. The other two units on the second and third floors are empty. I sure hope it goes Ok for him as he doesn't deserve all this mess due to others problems. I loved to see all your beads on the tables Patty but it took me a few hard looks to orient myself to the direction of the photo but I finally did. Hope you got the table cleared so you can get back to your wonderful work. And Cathy I was thrilled to hear of you taking a course in needle felting – good for you. Please keep us informed of your progress, and it is a good mix to have McGrath and Hughes "likes" in your life. Remember how involved I was in Theatre in my teens – much to the chagrin of Mom I think especially when I think of them driving me and picking me up so often. When we  went to Rainbow stage on my last visit, I was taken back in time and had so many good thoughts of the past. Even though I'm not doing much with my "McGrath" side lately, it's nice to know its there! Have fun.

Learning new things that everyone else knows

Today I am taking a class in needle felting. It's a beginners class for people with two left hands. They also have knitting and crocheting. Maybe it is time for me to explore the McGrath side of my heritage. (Though I still love acting !!!) Rrain is taking it too. She's the one that talked me into it. It could be a fun thing for the two of us to do together. Beats going to the Legion all the time. I have also taken a turkey out for supper tomorrow, and the next day and the next day and..........I am going to make some casseroles and pies to freeze. I have Monday and Tuesday off work I saved some holidays for snow days but it doesn't seem that I will need them anytime soon. I think they said we have had less than 1/4 of our usual snowfall and this has been the warmest January in history It kind of makes you wonder what is happening. Being a typical Manitoban I keep saying that we are going to pay for it someday. Our puppy is growing. You don't notice it when you see her everyday but when I take a good look I can tell. There is no way she would fit into the box that she came home in. I took a bunch of clothes to the Salvation Army yesterday. I still kept some things that "shrank" while hanging in my closet, but I don't think I will ever fit into them again. I have good intentions but food gets in the way. Our next cribbage game isn't until February 11. If we move on from there we go to The Pas. That will be a long drive. The only Command tournaments I have been to have been in Winnipeg and Dauphin. We'll see what happens. I am going to make my grocery list so that I will have lots of good food to go with my turkey. Have a great week

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Today I finished the beading on a major piece.  This is always a mixed blessing, emotionally.  It's finished!!  Hurray!! Tempered with creeping doubt about anyone liking it. Oh well, it is what it is.  And isn't that the stupidist statement anyone ever made?  Ran into a woman last fall who used it all the time. It irritated me then, and still does.

Had to cancel my dentist's appointment for next Monday.  When my approval didn't arrive fromSun Life by yesterday, David phoned to find out what the delay was. They told him that they had mailed a form to the dentist requesting further information, but had not yet received it back.  This sent us to the dentist's office where they denied ever receiving the form. Now they aren't allowed to contact SunLife directly, so they asked us to call Sun Life again and ask if the form could be faxed, then it would be filled out and faxed back immediately. So we did and were told that Sun Life procedures required about 4 days to receive permission to send a fax. So we asked what could be done, and were told just to have the dentist fill out the form and mail it back.  So David got mad and asked when the form was mailed--answer--two days ago--Monday.

This all makes me notice how things don't bother me the way they used to. I'm not suffering, so the dentist will wait.  My beaded piece will go to the exhibit whether it's the best thing I ever did or not.  and I'll move onto the next project.

Beth, David says that when the cactus has a bud, it seems to work best if the soil is kept barely damp, rather than letting it dry completley out between waterings. Our didn't bloom for years, until one summer we put it out into the garden.  Been fine ever since.

I guess for today, I'm grateful the $%*&(^ beading is finished.

Flowering cactus

My "Maplewood Ave" cactus has another bud on it. This is only the second time in the many years that I've been nursing it, that it has produced a flower. So long ago (years ago but I cannot remember how many?) Dave gave me a slip from the original – it never flourished, but then it never died either – just sort of stayed stagnant. We put all the flowers outside in the summer and it seemed to like this and actually seemed to grow a few more leaves. But to glance at it today I was overjoyed to see the bud. Now I shall enjoy each day to see how it matures and blossoms! I am really overdoing my work lately and my body is feeling it – decided I must do something to try to tidy up and since I was the only one to do it, I have gone at it full force. In the midst of the tidying yesterday I found my sewing ( at the bottom of the pile!) and had some fun looking at the quilt I had being doing and all the yoyos that I was making to be embellished onto the front of the quilt. And my prayer shawl that I had been knitting- sitting in the same box where I left it so long ago. I don't really think that my hands would allow me to do much knitting now, or for that matter make yoyos either, as I am finding it difficult to do even little chores that require manual dexterity without trouble managing or without pain /discomfort. Oh, poor me!! What I can do though, is hold a book and read which I shall go off and do now before bed. That should make me feel better, right! BTW Cathy when is your next crib match – I have lost track and want to be sure to be thinking of you as you play. Will I have to book a trip to the Nationals – where are they being held this year? Take care

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


the Blog let me sign in this morning. I was going to send you emails if it didn't. Just to say I still loved you and wasn't ignoring you. Of course everything I was going to say was from last week so there is nothing new right now. My passport expired a while ago and Jim has never had one in his life. Maybe it is on his bucket list. Things are quiet right now. I have not yet killed Jim or the dogs, but the temptation is there. Especially in the morning when I clean up the mess. This morning besides the usually pee and poo the couch cushions had been dragged onto the floor and a collection of "stuff" on them. Stuff like Jim's weather station monitor. Destroying my ebook wasn't enough. They are going for all the electronics they can find. I am still not sure why Lyala gets the lake all summer. Don't the families own it jointly? It seems you only get to go when there is work to be done. (bitchy I know) Kris and Sandi dropped in on Sunday. We all had a nice visit. Sandi wanted to take Chace home. I was all for it, but Kris said n0. I am pretty sure Jim wouldn't let it happen either. Sorry this is so short, but I have to go to work this morning, unlike other people. (bitchy number 2) Jim always like to point this fact out to me. Another 7 years and he will be stuck with me all day long. Then maybe he will regret some of his comments.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We will need to renew our passports this year.  I think they expire in October.  Yes, a lot of fuss and $$, but a necessity, if you want to travel at all.  I expect that we'll have to pin down some dates fairly quickly, as Lyala has already expressed the need to negotiate lake time.  She wants to spend the entire summer down there, and doesn't see why we would object to her being around.  I have decided not to apply for the Sioux Narrows Festival of the Arts this year.  So there will be nothing pinning us down to a specific time.  But, I may be forced to apply for the Pinawa show in mid-July ( don't ask!) but I think I'm prepared for that, and that weekend is usually fun.  When we go to the States we usually get rooms (usually free, or almost free)at the Shooting Star Casino, then drive into Fargo for shopping. We have also spent time driving all around the back roads of Manitoba and Minnesota looking at trees.  (???) We usually don't travel further west, but we have been up through Boisevein, and the trip through the Turtle Mountains is nice.  Amber is planning a holiday this summer, but, as far as I know, doesn't have any tentative dates.  We haven't been able to get anything at the Duty Free on our last three trips.  It would be nice to do that.

Just putting in time right now.  I'm working in the studio, but it's going slowly, as I have to take frequent breaks.  We've been watching the theatre listings in the paper carefully, as we got a couple of theatre passes for Christmas, but there hasn't been anything that we can agree on, so far.  I try to read the reviews whenever I can--most of them are for movies locally made and with no recognizable names, but then there are no recognizable names in any of the supermarket magazines either. Maybe all of my favourite actors have died.

David was able to get out and move snow today.  It's been so cold that he has put it off, but the temperature was up a bit today. )(Our new neighbour was out shovelling on concrete at 7:30 this morning.  It could be heard in our bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Breakfast was early today) Otherwise we aren't leaving the house.  So I sit and eat chocolate chip cookies and then curse at the scale.  Life is normal.

Plans and Passports

Enjoyed all your notes over past week or two and sorry I could not get into it, as much as I had hoped I could anyway.
It is said that one must have a plan for an adventure for the future – a vacation, or an extra special event, or a purchase etc. By having such a plan, one can focus on that event and make plans, and by doing so, can enjoy the "anticipation" or the "journey". I really missed not having my usual drive west to visit with my family last year. So, to rectify the situation, I am beginning to make my travel plans. Hope you are all OK with my presumption of visiting. I mailed off my passport renewal form and application, and money and of course the new picture. Went to Walmart and had my picture taken and I was shocked, to say the least, to realize what an old hag I am. They may not accept such a picture and my renewal may be denied – do you think they can do that? I am thinking of a three day drive this time (two nights on the road) It is really too long a drive to try to make 12 to 13 hours a day and the last time I came I admit I had "hit the wall" by the time I phoned Patty and Dave in sheer panic mode. Mind you, I also hit some really horrendous weather and the driving was terrible but nevertheless, it was too much. It is hard to believe that the time to travel will take 6 days – almost a week just to get there and back leaving not much time for the visit. But this time as well, I shall lengthen the planned visit to accommodate the travel. Also, I am saving all the American change I get, and watching the dollar rate closely so I can capitalize on the exchange to purchase American money. This is all assuming, again, that there may be an opportunity for us to take a quick trip to the USA to see what all the fun is (your trips sound great!) Also hoping for the usual wonderful time at the Lake but I shall only be bringing my blow up mattress and bedding – NO tenting this time around so I shall have to find a spot on the porch or the floor haha So you see, I am making some plans and I am already feeling some satisfaction and anticipation! What do you think??
Expecting temperatures of 8 degrees tomorrow and next day accompanied by rain or freezing rain. The roof is feet deep with snow and I heard someone talk about going on the roof tomorrow to shovel which means I stay on the ground and shovel it all away while trying to hold the ladder! Sounds like fun! There is a snow plough sitting in front of our house from Tuesdays storm when it apparently broke down – we heard them trying to work on it in the middle of the night and then one day a tire disappeared and the next day it reappeared again. Perhaps they are waiting for the next storm before they move it?
I love too hear about books you are reading as it gives me a few ideas although I still have a box of books that Harry bought at the auction to fall back on. I tend to find an author I like and then read all I can get of him/her. But I find now that I am tiring of this and want to experience different styles and types although the historical fiction still excites me. I liked the Stuart Woods novel Patty, and will likely find another soon – perhaps at the library.  I bought the fourth Christopher Paolini novel of his series but haven't been able to get at it either.
Take care for now everyone.

Good Read

I have to tell you about a book that I just finished,  "Believing the Lie" by Elizabeth George.  It is the most recent in her Inpsector Lynley series of British police procedurals, but unlike anything I've read of her's before.  He is asked, as a favour, to investigate an accidental death, on the "q.t.".  The book then explores the ripple effect that is started by peoples' reactions to the investigation.  But someone very much had her "tongue in cheek" when writing the book.  Every conceivable twist of a standard mystery novel character appears, from a druggie heir to an evil twin. And every conceivable sexual twist shows up, as well.  And at every turn there is a tabloid writer who wouldn't recognize a story if it bit him.  It's quite long ( amost 700 pages) but worth every minute.  Little work has been done in this house for three days!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Very quiet

It's just been one of those "nothing" weeks.  We sit at home, eat out of the freezer, and are very thankful that we don't have to get up and go to work in the mornings.  I had to go out Wednesday evening to a quilters' guild meeting ( sn-o-o-o-o-ze) and the driving was very, very scarey.  Everywhere was a sheet of ice.  That was the day that a car was in an accident on the Disraeli Bridge and drove through the guardrail and onto the river ( fatal fall).  I only had to drive south on Lagimodiere and traffic was quite comfortable driving between 50 and 60 km instead of the usual 85-100km. By yesterday the driving was a little better when David took me to an embroidery store and I bought four little packages of beads (  Highlight of the week!!)

Now, cabin fever doesn't usually kick in until mid-February.  It just shows how spoiled we are this year with the warm December---we don't know what to do with ourseves when it gets cold!  We even drove across the street to the library Thursday.  We came out with a huge shopping bag full of books--hoping it will last the week.  A new one by Elizabeth George--about 2 inches thick and I'm half way through already.  I do like her books, but they are few and far between. Then yesterday we ( the Royal "We")  baked sourdough bread.  "We" haven't done that in over a year, although we made some fruitbread for Christmas morning. I'm sure I'll see the results at the scale.

Today I plan to work in the studio.  I have to keep two or three projects going so that I can pace the hand work.  My horoscope says that I will have a restless day.  " All dressed up and no place to go" is how it was phrased.  I hate days like that!  I get really cranky.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Your turn

You're having some nice things happen to you, Cathy.  It must be your "turn". Enjoy it while you can.  good luck on you cribbage playing.  And remind me notto play with you--ever.  We were out to dinner with Amber last night.  A nice treat. 

I had been to a meeting out in Landmark in the afternoon and it was especially nice not to have to hurry home to cook dinner.  But by the time the meeting had broken up, we were in the middle of quite a snow storm. One of the ladies had driven in from Pinawa, but, luckily, was planning to spend the night in Winnipeg.  I had driven out on hwy 206, having been told that it was a shorter more direct route than driving through Lorette, but figured in the snow, I would be better heading home on the familiar and busier, hwy.  I managed to get up to 70k between Landmark and Lorette, but driving through Lorettte was a challenge with heavy snowfall and very poor visability.  This was between 4:30 and 5:00--a time for poor visibility in good weather!  But just north of Lorette, the falling snow tapered off and I only had to contend with blowing snow.  Scary, none the less.  But I made it safely.

So a quiet day today.  My small stitchery group tomorrow, and a quilters' guild meeting Wednesday evening. I'm not taking a painting class this session, as I need to get some of my own work done, so my Wednesday afternoons are free for the next little while.  Thursday night is a small design study group I've joined.  I don't have all of my homework done, but it's a pretty relaxed group and I'm not concerned. I don't know how much I'm learning, but I'm finding the exercises very inspiring, so it's time well spent.

So far, this is shaping up to a good year for all of us. We should all be grateful, we've had some difficult times lately. But for today, I'm grateful that I didn't have ot go out in the cold.  Today, we watched a couple of fellows trying to start a car that has been parked in front of our house for at least two months.  They got it going with a boost,but boy, did they ever look cold working out there!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I forgot to mention...

I was excited about the crib and forgot to mention that when I bought dog food at Safeway yesterday they gave me a game card and I won!!! I will be gettiing a JVC HD Camcorder. I have never had any sort of video recorder so it will be a new experience for me. Rrain says that she will take it off my hands for me :) I then bought a lottery ticket and won nothing. I thought things came in threes, but I guess not. Rrain fell down the outside stairs yesterday. She is pretty sore today. She is lucky she didn't break her neck. I have never liked those railway tie stairs. I realized this week that I still have holidays to use up. I am trying to decide if I want a bunch of short weeks or if I should just take a week. Both sound appealing to me. I will see if I move on to provincials in Crib. If I do I will need a couple of days to get to The Pas and back. If I do make it I sure hope it is as a team. Then all four of us would go. It's all in the cards

Congrats Cathy

Best wishes on your next round and good for you. I have played with you and know how you can play expertly. I bet you weren't helping your opponents like you used to help me out  haha
Well, my estimate was slightly off and we have two more days of it at Mothers. Yesterday we had a setback as the van decided to act up just as we were about to Mothers – the engine light came on and said "engine power reduced" and it sure was – no power at all. I phone the garage and spoke with the man there and he said it would still get us from point A to point B but with little power and best not to drive it. So I was the one chosen to try to drive it back home and switch to my car. We needed a reliable way home after the day of cleaning at Mothers. So I got into it immediately while it was warm and it started and I made it back to Sundridge OK (but slowly) It gets into the service tomorrow at 8 am and as a matter of fact we have just delivered it and left key in the night box. We have done miracles at Mothers and the real estate lady came in this afternoon and was very impressed with how good it looks. But my car does not accommodate bringing the stuff left to bring so that has extended our work plan a bit. Also, have to do a bit more cleaning. Harry's sister worked on the kitchen yesterday and today. we ended up having to paint the kitchen and diming room walls as they were just too marked up. The real estate lady called yesterday and suggested it would be wise so Donna bought the paint last night and Harry painted this morning. It was well worth the extra effort as now looks good. So I better go for now and will keep you updated.

Well done!

Now he has to be the one showing support while he cheers you on.  Role reversal is sometimes fun.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Well, Jim & I surrounded all the other players.... he came last and I came first. I would be really excited except it was in singles and neither one of us wanted to move on because you are by yourself..... of course, I won so YIPPEE!!! Our team and I will now move on to Gladstone for the next time on the road to fame

Friday, January 13, 2012

mmmmmmm Good

You almost made me hungry, but not really. The beet part really struck home. I love beets but the initial shock the next day is always there. Even though you are expecting it. Good thing I am not really crazy about red velvet cake. Tomorrow is crib again. It gets us out of the house and doing something. I enjoy it. Lotto Max tonight. One day one of us will win

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Don't laugh

You almost got it in a trifle for Sunday supper!!!  No, it was rather tasteless.  It's not often I throw cake out.


That's too funny!

Did it at least taste good?


Don't ever buy Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix!  We picked some up as a treat when we were in the States and made it up yesterday.  The raw batter was bright scarlet, although the cake itself was a little darker.  It stained my utensils and my hands.  We ate the cake with whipped cream and it stained the whipped cream red. Dish washing water also turned red. Today, we have found that it has the same effect as beets do in the bathroom.  Never again!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Toad-in-the Hole revisited

I remember Toad-in-the-Hole. The little circle of bread was fried up and used as a hat on the egg. I haven't thought of that in ages. JJ is stlll a puppy.... go figure. I have learned a few tricks. When she tries to chew on me I go "OWWW" in a very high pitched voice. Dogs do that when they are hurt so it stops her!! We congratulate when she does "puppy pee" outside. (My life is so sad) It has been hard at work. Mallorie had a very bad week last week and I just wanted to cry by Friday. Elizabeth has now included me in the Senior Staff Meetings. She told everyone that I wanted to learn examination. My first meeting in tomorrow. I still want to win the lottery and retire. I will keep hoping. Tomorrow is haircut day. I think that will make me feel better about myself. The weather has been insane. It was 14 on our patio today. 5 on the north side of the office. We will be back to normal later this week, but normal is only about -15. I really don't miss the -30. We do need snow, thought. The wet sprig was followed by a drought here, so moisture levels are not high. Spring is coming. I got my first seed catalogue today. Today I am grateful for everyday of life. There is so much to anticipate in the days to come.

Quickie note

Hi – just a quick but good message to say we rented a 10' X 20' storage unit here in Sundridge and just this action has allayed some anxiety for me – we had so much to move from Mothers in such a short time that it was necessary to do something quick. Now we can take our time to organize, but at the same time clear out Mothers in time for the Friday opening to the for sale market. Next week the agent will be bringing the real estate agents to "tour" the house because it goes onto MLS listings. Bye for now

Re-thinking my musings/ Toad-in-the-Hole

I guess I should be happy that my Grandchildren are becoming familiar with Toad-in-the-Hole, something I remember from my childhood, even if the knowledge is coming from an entirely different direction.  Winnipeg is a very incestuous town--no more than 2 degrees of separation around here!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Research about Egg in the Hole

Not really great or earth shattering information that I share with you now, but you struck a cord when you spoke about "eggs in the hole" By the way I made some for breakfast this morning just because the thought was there haha. Sometime ago I got a recipe book – I think in a box of books Harry got at a garage sale? But for some reason I really enjoyed reading it and have many times taken it up to reread or just browse. I tried the yeast pizza from this book that I told you folks about long ago. Anyway as I lay in bed thinking about your message Patty – quite profound in my opinion and started to get me thinking about life in general but also about eggs in the hole. We did have them at home because I can remember having the bread hole piece also fried and then put on top of the egg to serve and it was this piece that I liked to eat. But I digress. In this recipe book the author explains everything about the dish she is sharing and so it becomes a story as well as real recipes with step by step instructions. here is what she says about "eggs in the hole" – while I insist the proper, official name is egg-in-the –hole, here are the different incarnations that have cropped up since: egg in a basket; chicken in a basket; frog in a hole; toad in a hole; egg basket; bird's nest egg; toad hole; egg hole; pop eyes; egg toast; private eyes. She ends with the following thrown in for comic relief: or bird's Nest egg in a hole Basket Toad Chicken Frog. You both may actually enjoy reading this book if you could find a copy : The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Recipes from as Accidental Country Girl. by Ree Drummond 2009 Harper Collins Books. ISBN 978-0-06-165819-8 (also www.ThePioneerWoman.com)
At Sprucedale all day – Real estate came and took pictures and measurements and the house will go on the market on Friday Jan 13 – that's this Friday - so I can tell you without doubt the rest of my week is filled – no room for anymore social engagements, I'm sorry! But there are a few plumbing problems that Harry and I discovered while trying to disconnect the washing machine so to make a long story short ( you don't really want to hear the details!) a handyman that we had called upon before to go to Mothers was called and he will come tomorrow at 10 to help Harry fix – we bought some parts to day at Canadian Tire in Huntsville. We had to go there to drop off a van full of boxes at his sisters place. There are still about two more vans full of boxes waiting at the house to be transported so likely make another trip to her house again tomorrow and then on Thursday Harry and her husband (also called Harry) will move the washer and dryer. She does not want the freezer now so it will come here – likely be stored beside the three china cabinets and the organ sitting in the front room - ha (only one "ha" this time because its not really that funny anymore)
So have yourselves a merry little week this week and keep writing- I hope to be able to log on to check but maybe lack the energy to do much more! Take care.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

No Lotto Max here--again

A couple of years ago we had a fellow in to look at our stuff.  He wasn't interested in the china or silver but gave us over $700.00 for the wooden, glass-doored cabinet the stuff was in.  Older furniture may be worth more than you think--if you can bear to part with it.  Last year (? or more) I tried to sell some of my china through "Things"--the consignment shop of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.  There just isn't a market for it right now, as it isn't dishwasher/microwave safe, and younger women don't want to have to wash the dishes by hand.  So my Royal Doulton dishes ended up at the lake.  We still have a full service of Royal Albert in the garage. Good luck to you in all of this, and I'm grateful it isn't me dealing with it.

Finally put the Christmas dishes away, and the tree too.  Some of the dishes are getting chipped--it was a cheap set.  But the process, as well as conversation with David's sister, made me thnk about traditions and what we pass on to our children.  We had Salmon loaf for supper last night and that lead me to thinking about all of the recipes we've talked about and exchanged on this blog.  Most of them came to us through Mom, or one or two, David's Mother, and how many of them will pass along to another genration?  Even Christmas breakfast has changed.  The old cinnamon buns are still around, but in different forms ( yeast dough vs sourdough vs baking powder biscuit).  Amber's children love Toad-in-the-hole for Christmas breakfast, although they call it something else.  This has come to them through Darren's Mom, and will probably become their Christmas tradition.  I remember having it as a child, but I don't remember it being one of Mom's recipes.  Grannie?? or, for some reason, I'm thinking of the Harlands.  Either way speaks to a strongly English tradition, but Darren's background is Eastern European.  Already Amber has shared one or two of his Mother's recipes with me--and I can see the Shipp family traditonal recipes passing along, but maybe not the McGrath's.   Loren is more likely to use recipes from his childhood, but less likely to pass them along to his children.

Anyway, it sounds as though I'm babbling today.  Must get back to the studio.

Friday, January 6, 2012

How could you resist with a face like that...

...don't those little critters just touch you the right way and always tend to make you fall in "love at first sight". Hope you have fun with your menagerie Cathy but then I think I understood you to say that Jim was taking full responsibility for JJ's training??????
Another fun day at the farm ie Mothers place! Down to the crunch now as Harry is to sign the real estate papers tomorrow, and she told him something like "... then we can start to tidy up and make it presentable for viewing..." Oh boy, here we go again - it never seems to end. Not much assistance yet from his siblings either so after some pointed e-mails and phone calls, Harry will be picking up his sisters husband next Thursday early and they will haul boxes and freezer and washer and dryer and a bed to her house. Probably take several trips as they are using our van to transport. More stuff was brought home here today and there is more coming tomorrow so it is looking quite crowded in here. An auction company is coming next Wednesday to look at the excess furniture and old antique dressers etc with the hope that they will take it away for an auction at end of Feb – may not get much money for it if they take it at all. The other day I went through a china cabinet I have full of tea pots and cream and sugars which I had been collecting a while ago and have decided I can't bear to keep any longer. I thought the auction people may take them, but Harry has said he'll take them to his friend here in Sundridge at the auction barn. They may never leave this house in the end, but I needed that space to put another wooden glass doored cabinet that he is bringing back from his Mothers. I still seem to be three china cabinets over space available though, and they are lined up here in the front room (beside the electric organ Harry decided to get before Christmas. Don't you just love it – would make for a great new "reality show". Well it's Friday night and I have my fingers crossed for the Lotto Max win tonight. Anyone willing to join me in the winnings???  It is very mild out again and melting snow is dripping off the roof and they are calling for rain tonight. I think about the ice shacks that just appeared on the Lake during the cold blast we just had – I would be scrambling to get them off real quick! Have a good weekend everyone – take care.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guess What Jim Did!?

Allow me to introduce JJ She is 2 months old and I think she is going to be very big (check out the feet!) I din't really need 3 dogs. Especially 3 big dogs that live in the house. Oh well. It will give Jim something to do over the winter. Not that we have had much of a winter yet. Highs of 7 in January!! Of course JJ is teething right now. We have one dog that eats anything he can and one that wants to chew on whatever she can. It is going to be a long winter around here. Rrain and I have a play practice tonight. She is stage manager. I have no jobs (yippee) Anyway, think of me and my menagerie. Today I am grateful that he only brought one dog home. There were 2 sisters in the ad.

Year books??

Mine are long gone.  Can't remember what happened to them.  Beth, you'll always have the memories, the "stuff" is just a reminder.  My emotional conundrum comes when I come across something and think "I should keep this,but don't really want to/have space etc"  We have taken to offering it to the children, and if neither of them want it--out it goes.  I think I mentioned that Amber told us that if there was a lot left, she would probably have a huge garage sale, so we have been taking a good look at what we have and a lot of it is going.  This is what has been behind my book clean-out over the past couple of years.  I'm making sure things go where I think they should go--NOW--not leaving it to chance later. My Ravenesque ladies have agreed to be responsible for each others' "stash", and David and Amber are fine with that.  I can't really expect them to know what has value to another agency or person and what is really junk,or even junque.

But what a great time you seem to be having with the memories that your sorting has released!  No-one can ever take those away from you.

A smile and chuckle for myself

A coincidence for sure – I have been sorting through a few things, initially from sorting out Mike's game cards in his cupboard which extended to another shelf and lead me to some softcover books stored away for a rainy day. Long story short there was a book by Stuart Woods titled White Cargo and as I held it in my hands gave a nice little chuckle and thought of you Patty and your recommendation to read his work. So since I am currently reading another Steve Berry novel, I shall finish it, and then jump into this one. What have you both done with your old yearbooks etc. I am at the stage where I want to throw them out, but then again, have this need to hang onto them! What is the point?, or is there a point?
Trouble with sorting through stuff is that you spend too much time looking and remembering. Found all the old picture albums from Willie and his Christening, and his dress, and sweater set etc etc and sometimes it becomes too much to fathom, if that makes any sense. When can one actually let go of memories, or is there no time that you can? Perhaps I am in this mood because I am touching all this stuff that has been hidden away and really don't know what to do with it, short of boxing it up and putting it back on the shelf haha
I have decided to switch from buying Ontario 49 lottery tickets to buying 649 tickets – the difference being the cost and thus the number of lines you can buy. The Ontario 49 are only 50 cents each, where the 649 cost 2.00 each. So for my self imposed maximum expenditure of 5.00, it cuts my chances. Do you think I will actually be better off – time will tell when I check the numbers this Sat night. Back to my sorting – wonder what other surprises I will find?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Renewal time--Ha!

Lasted until about 11:00.  Then it was off to the bank, to buy groceries, and renew most of my prescriptions.  While I was out, I made the impulsive decision to have my hair cut, so took David home and then went off to have it done.  Over the past couple of months my hair has become much more gray, and it was very obvious in the mirror there.  Instead of scattered grey hairs, I now have grey streaks.  I remember Dad and Auntie Lorraine being in their 70"s before they were noticeably grey, so I guess Mom's genes strike again.  I am growing it a little longer than it's been in over 40 years.  Without my glasses, I felt my "old woman face" needed a different focus or balance.  Now I'm being teased for growing a "mullet", but the hairdresser told me today that, while the mullet is coming back to a certain extent, the sides are shaved, and I have no intention of doing that!  After the hairdresser, it was off to the dentist.  Whoopee!

During my shopping we also went to a local bead store with a gift certificate from Christmas. 
She was very nice and gave me the same discount as I would have had during their boxing day sale.  So I ended up with almost twice the value of the certificate, after the descount.  So this evening will be spent playing with, and sorting beads--probably in front of the tv.

Train Travel

Yes, I'm  still enamoured with the thought of train travel and coincidently this afternoon while I was cleaning up in the front room, I opened a video cupboard – you know those little cupboards that hold VHS and DVD movies and tend to be totally useless! I found an old VHS movie called The Great Canadian Train Ride and described as "a breathtaking transcontinental journey aboard the newly restored Canadian with stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise, The Canadian Rockies, Kamloops Vancouver and Victoria" It is dated 1993 so a bit out dated but yet I enjoyed watching it in the past and plan to view it again- likely not tonight but within a few days for sure. We have to get up and leave early for Harry's Mothers place so that we can tidy up a bit before the Real estate lady comes at 11 am so I'll go to bed early, read a bit and then try to get some sleep. It has been difficult lately to sleep well, and I cannot attribute it to anything particular other than the usual demons that tend to make me anxious and annoyed and stressed all the time haha
A quick trip to North Bay this morning in minus 30 degree weather to do a bit of shopping and take the boxes of game cards over to Mike's. He is working so it was just a drop off and no visits but I just spoke with him a few minutes ago, and as I called he was going through all the cards. I find it very interesting that what was a forgotten joy in his life for many years when he was younger, has now made a comeback and the cards and the thrill of the game are reborn so to speak! That's alright with me because I have just gained about four big boxes of space in my house although you would never know it. haha  I have discovered a new wonderful drink – Presidents Choice Chai Black tea bags but I mix it with hot milk instead of boiling water and it tastes very much like a hot Chai Latte which would cost me usually about $3.75 at the specialty store. The good part is that not only does it taste great, but I'm getting my daily amount of milk/calcium that I require. So that's it for now – take care.

Opportunity Knocks

You speak of resuming the pattern of your life, but I see this time as a opportunity to develop new patterns.  Caring for Harry's mother took so much of your time and energy that, once you spend a little time renewing your inner resources, you can create any new pattern you choose. 

This morning is my renewal time.  I have been so immersed in "to Do" lists etc over the past while that I told David that this morning I just want to "drift".  Because of all of the activty lately, I now sit in a fairly tidy house, with food in the fridge.  There are pending activities, but I have control over the "when" of them--a trip to the library, spending a gift certificate I received for Christmas. "Drifting" ends this afternoon when I have a dental appointment, but it can resume immediately after.

Ravenesque was both a treat and exhausting.  Only three of us ended up enjoying supper and spending the evening, but my exhaustion must have shown because the other two packed up and left around 8:00.  I had been in "hostess" mode since 9:30, after having had a tiring day Sunday.  We all worked on projects, during the day, but knowing that I could be called upon to fetch and carry, I chose something that could be picked up and put down easily--a series of business cards.

But back to the pattern of life.  Now I must concentrate on my Milky Way piece and the beading that involves.  I showed the ladies yesterday and they seemed to think it was going well. After that there is another exhibition coming up, and the piece exists only in my head.  I anticipate that project will take me into the summer.  And I refuse to plan beyond that.

Today, with no apologies, I'm grateful that the holiday season is over.(although I still have to take the tree down and put the dishes away--maybe tomorrow)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Waiting for the hockey game

As I write this note, Patty will be entertaining her Ravenesque ladies, and I will assume you others will be at work???
I am waiting for the start of the Winter Classic Hockey game that is due to begin at 3 pm – another 15 minutes or so. I have some potato chips in a bowl at the ready, and plan to pour myself a drink ( a real drink that is haha) I actually thought it was to commence at 1230 so was ready then but after not finding it on the CBC TV I realized I had misread the time and the 1230 slot was Pacific time – hence the 3 pm start is eastern time. You can see how exciting my life is when an event of this nature captures my undivided attention!
We were to Sprucedale this morning and brought home a big rain barrel and large outdoors flower pot full of soil. Harry has arranged to meet a real estate agent at the house there at 11 am on Wednesday. We haven't cleared out the inside yet as we are waiting on his sister to get mobile and remove the articles she wanted – so far no movement on her part although to be fair Christmas and New years did occur. Harry has told her that he will pack up stuff and if her husband can help, then the both of them could make a day of hauling stuff to her house. Don't know if that will happen? 
It's pretty sad and lonely with the tree all gone and the other Christmas stuff boxed up. I really enjoyed sitting early in the morning with a coffee and hearing the "quiet" I shall have to create another distraction for myself I guess.
Anyway, as we get back to our usual patterns in life, whatever they may be, here's to a new year full of promise. Take care 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Adult conversation

Tonight Amber, Samantha and Gail arrived for supper.  We were expecting Loren as well, but he never arrived and we haven't heard from him.  With only one little girl there was no fighting, and a quiet pleaseant evening. Rather than play a game after eating we sat around the table and talked--very unusual behaviour from this group.  A bit anti-climatic after spending three days cleaning house and preparing food, but with Ravenesque coming tomorrow the effort was still worth it.  We bought a good beef roast and cooked vegetables around the roast for a real treat.  The best roast beef I've had in a very long time--and lots of leftovers. 
So, I guess today I'm grateful for family--near and far.