Friday, November 30, 2012

Yes, time is moving quickly

I have to wonder if it's the time of year or the time of life.  Our little tree went up today.  It's just a little 3 footer, that I've often put up on the table just outside the kitchen door.  But that means that I can't sit in my regular seat to watch tv, as there is no longer any light there.  For some reason, this year, I seem to be "nesting' a bit more than usual, and have been spending a little more time in the evenings watching tv--not that there is anything really worth watching, although tonight I found a short biography of the Marquis de Sade. Perfect,  since this week I abandoned my usual murder mysteries at the library, just not wanting to deal with any more "blood and guts" for awhile. The other library book I found, this week,  was a biography of Mick Jagger.  We'll see how far I get into it.

Anyway, the tree went up on a tv table between the tv, and the clock.  I think it will be fine there.
Three of our lights have gone in the last week.  Two of them just needed new tri-light bulbs, ( and try to find those in the stores these days!), but one needed a whole new wall switch. With the weird, weird wiring in this house, David had a terrible time making the change, it took a few hours, but he got it done!  And then a few hours later we realized that he had thrown the breaker for the furnace while trying to sort out the breaker for the light, and it hadn't been turned back on again.  Got a little chilly around here for awhile, but I'm impressed at how long the house will hold the heat.

I would like to think my brain is starting to get back in gear, after 6 weeks of stupid days, but it's not happening quickly.  I've reached the point of having  insight, but not yet reached the point of having incentive/motivation to take action.  It isn't that bad, when you can just sit back and let life roll over and around you--very seductive!  Not good for you, though, and even worse for those around you, so I've started to make lists again of things I must do, as soon as I can find the energy, and actually tacked a couple of them. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I bought a new purse.  This one is bright blue,with dark blue polka dots, and lots of hardware.  A change from my usual  red or pink.  But today I found that the tail of my dragon key chain gets caught in the chain handle. The old red one gets put back in the cupboard, yet again.  I buy these things and use them until they break down in some way.  Then out comes that old red one, until the "right" new one gets found.  I've been using that red one for years--it will never wear out and have to be put in my coffin, when the time comes.

Some of my Christmas shopping is done, but I refuse to try to shop on weekends.  I also have started to refuse to try to go out on weekends. Regent and Lagimodiere is always busy, but in November and December it is just insane.  I actually got to go out driving today, despite the snow and sloppy weather. I survived, and am quite proud of myself.

For today, I am grateful for prune juice, and I'm grateful for a sale I found at the fabric store.  A fine day!

And it's Friday already?

So, where did the week go I ask myself and then think about the goings on and have no doubt. The snow has stayed and the cold has come so walking with the dog has been a challenge - scarf  on me, and sweater on the dog. And now the news says it should rain by Sunday with almost double digit temperatures, so I now worry about the snow on the roof. Tomorrow I shall get the ladder and scoop and clean it off about 3 to 4 feet up. Last year we had leaking water in the spring because dams of ice had built up and I promised myself that I would keep the snow from accumulating. Now I have to keep my promise if I don't want any surprises again in the spring. Baking done, and presents wrapped and my car now has snow tires on, so all in all a productive week. I don't have the tree up yet but perhaps this weekend will allow me to get that done? There is always time but as I walk the dog in the evening, I now enjoy seeing Christmas lights and also peek into windows - I see trees already up in a lot of houses and it looks so festive. Interesting that a lot of the trees have white lights only. I prefer the coloured lights on my tree - I love to get up in the morning, get my coffee and just sit and gaze at the lights and ornaments - relaxes me before the day begins in earnest. I haven't been reading much lately as my eyes aren't up to it at bed time. I listen a bit to the radio and then try to sleep. I hope you are sleeping better Patty - I am not lately and wonder why I just lay and lay staring at the clock on the radio - hour after hour and I still just lay there. I'm almost relieved when five o'clock finally arrives and I can get up - that's my usual get up time. Well, I seem to be rambling so better sign off and think about winning all that $$$ tonight. My lottery wish list is getting longer so hope something comes my way soon!  Have a good weekend everyone, and take care

Monday, November 26, 2012

keep hoping I can sign in, but not yet. I guess I will really have to get some time to contact my server. This last week was not the time to do it, but it is over. I had something every day last week Some were okay, but Friday we set up the Yellowhead for the sale. Anne, at the Yellowhead, remembered the trouble we had with the sheer curtains last year, and she had them all hung, and the tables all set up and in the area they needed to be We were out of there in only 2 hours! What a treat Saturday we were there at 7 am and I was on my feet until everything was packed up. We were done by about 6pm (Yippee) Keri, Kristy and I went to the Legion for a beer afterwards and we were so giddy we were laughing without the drink. We tried to stand up after sitting for a while and all of our feet were so sore we couldn't walk. (which led to more laughter) Sunday,Keri and I had the reading of Dickens' "A christmas Carol" only 32 people were there, but they were very appreciative. We were told by a couple of people that the local radio station had announced that the reading was cancelled I sure hope not, since it is a fundraiser for the Christmas Hampers We did a good job. All of the readers (none of the musicians... Meow) donated dainties and drinks for afterward All of the wassail that I made went. Good thing there weren't more people there. Margaret made ginger snaps and she let me take the 7 leftover cookies home (Yummie). today was work, and I was so tired that I actually told Elizabeth all my complaints. the result. A meeting that addressed some of the problems. I have to draft a list of jobs that I do, that someone else can handle, but if I can off load some of that my life will be so much easier. I also told her that I wanted a reclass based on all the extra work that I am responsible for and she said she will look into it. With all the government cutbacks I don`t expect much, but at least it has been noted. tonight I am making soup. Both Jim

& Keri had big lunches today, so no one was hungry (except me!) No Supper today, but tomorrow is another story. I am so tired that I have lost all my filters (see above bitches to my boss) so I think I will be in bed very early tonight. Jim ordered a new bed on Saturday. It was a one day only sale at Sears. An $1100 bed for $299. We don`t know if our order went through, though. He ordered it on Friday, and she had 13 orders to call in first thing Saturday. Hopefully we get one. Time to crash

Prune Juice

The original idea was that the prunes would provide extra fibre, but it won't do that if I don't eat it.  Won't buy them again.  I've used the juice before, and will buy that next time.

Fast trip done and now back home

Glad to have that over - left home at 3:45 this morning and after a quick turnaround at his brother's and a stop at grocery store we were home by 12:30. The roads were in bad shape going up with snow slush and black ice but coming back it had cleaned off nicely and the drive wasn't as anxiety filled. I just cleaned the van ready to take to Glass place in North Bay tomorrow. It will take about 2 hours so the man said he would drive us to the Mall to hang out - sounds like a real fun time !! I used to drink prune juice and got quite used to the taste but maybe you need the extra bulk from the actual prunes? Just a thought..... Short note for now, but its the thought that counts right? Take care

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cooking Prunes

My surgeon has recommended that I eat prunes.  We bought some and two mornings in a row I ate a few of them--slowly, reluctantly and with great displeasure.  So today I tried to cook them. ( David had remembered his mother boiling them.)  I had to check several books before finding instructions for simmering them for about 1/2 hour, so that's what I did.  Of course, then I forgot them on the stove, and they almost boiled dry.  In any case I ate 6 of them.  It was marginally better than trying to eat them out of the package, but I think this is going to be an uphill battle. The colour, the texture and the taste-Y-u-u-c-k!!

I have seen Intarsia, and understand that it requires a tremendous amount of skill to do well, but when done well it is quite beautiful.  When I was working, one of the nurses had a husband who did i,t and she would sometimes donate his work for charity auctions.  Very attractive.

After my painting workshop yesterday, I had wanted to have a quiet putter-y day today.  I ended up doing a bit of hand sewing while watching tv. The only thing I could find that was the least bit interesting was an Extreme Couponing marathon.  What was interesting was the teenage boys who are into this, even to the point of taking control of the family grocery shopping and using the family as almost servants in getting the job done.  I really only mention this because it gives you an idea of how boring and desperate my life can  sometimes be.

This week, David will be seeing the opthamologist about having his second eye done. His vision has changed a fair bit over the past couple of years, and I think it is really time.  This means that I have to go along to drive him home.  I think we'll both feel better once it's done.

Football game is still on.  David has been watching all evening, so no big poker tournament tonight. I'm pretty well beat after two days without a nap, so a glass of wine and to bed.

Skating again

Just returned from another outing of skating at the arena. This time there were many others there so it made for a nicer skate for me to have people around and not to be the only person on the ice. If I try to go every Sunday and get into the habit, then it would be a true activity for me to enjoy. I was doing the dishes at 12:45 and looked at the clock to decide should I go, or should I not. It would be too easy to let it go, but I was determined so in spite of not really feeling like it, off I went and truly glad I did! There was a person there from Sundridge who used to play in the NHL and he was doing fabulous turns and ins and outs, and circles and then came beside me to say it was good I was getting some exercise. I often go past his house with the dog. His wife's father, also from Sundridge, played in the NHL and just last week was honoured in Toronto by having a street named in his honour Ron Attwell Drive. There was a big writeup and pictures of him with the Mayor Rob the local newspaper about it. There is actually many ex NHLers from Sundridge and of course, the town plays that aspect up when advertising anything. Been a very hectic week - plumbing problems that I told you about, then HArry's windshield shattered, and yesterday I had to take the old cat to the Vet ( at emergency / weekend rates of course) as it was in severe pain and crying out trying to go to the bathroom. The Vet gave him a really good physical assessement and then an enema and told me to give it corn syrup for a few days. Have you ever tried to give a cat cornsyrup?? He also wants to see us back for an appt to take blood work because the cat has lost a lot of weight and his teeth are in bad condition which may be causing him not to eat properly.Tomorrow we are making a flying trip to Kirkland LAke to take Harry's brother some woodworking patterns that we made a special trip the other day to buy from a fellow in Powassa. This is the woodwork pictures you see with little pieces of shaped wood put together into a picture eg bird, or cat, or lighthouse etc. It is called Intarsia. The patterns were very expensive but his brother had heard about this man who was selling out and we looked up his whereabouts and visited his home workshop and we got a bit of a discount and bought 27 of them.Harry had some other boxes of stuff to take anyway so off we go in the morning. We have to take my little car (we don't get windshield fixed until Tuesday) so we cannot take the dog- therefore it will be a really quick trip -  3 &1/2 to 4 hour trip one way so the hours will add up! And that has been a bit of my week and hope you folks have had a better time of it??? We have snow here now and temps are really a lot colder than the double digits of last week. A bit of a shock actually haha Grey Cup is on today and since I won't get to see it, I can only visualize all of you glued to the TVs. The one channel we have does not broadcast many sports (CTV) Take care all.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not an adventure

We had a short outing today.  A quick trip to the bank, over to the fabric store to pick up some bias tape, and then home via Tim's.  Driving home we talked about whether we had had an adventure or an excursion, deciding that it wasn't nearly interesting enough for an adventure. Climbing out of the car--panic--where's my purse? Then realizing that it was probably left hanging in the cubicle of the washroom at Tim's.  Hurried trip to Tim's, all the while discussing the steps in cancelling credit cards etc. Got to Tim's, pushed past the line up and spoke to the lady who had sold us coffee.  She started to smile when she saw me, and when   I told her my problem said " You mean the big red one?"  Yep, they had it--intact, money and all.  So perhaps, it was an adventure after all.

Off to a painting workshop tomorrow. This will be my first actual long outing.  I expect to be very tired when it's over, so David is going to drive me, and then pick me up ( there's not much parking around the building, in any case).  The workshop runs from 10:00 to 3:00 with a lunch break, and I can't believe the stuff the teacher wants us to bring--another reason David is going alone to help me.

The baking is taking its tole.  We have both gained a little weight this week, so time to go back to the old routine.  I found a package of tart shells in the freezer, with a best before date of May 2012.  We also had one jar of Cross and Blackwell mincemeat--purchased in 2007.  So we made up 6 tarts and cooked them off.  They weren't bad at all, so finished the bottle for a total of about 24.  But they're just about gone now, as we didn't want to freeze them yet again.  We're going to Amber's for Christmas dinner, and she has asked for some Melting Moments, even though Loren and Gillian are in charge of dessert.  so I guess I have to make those, but much, much closer to Christmas.  Loren and Gillian are taking an internet cooking course, and thought that this would be in ideal chance to practice a fancy dessert, although I have no idea what they have in mind..

Well, blogger is giving me grief about spacinf, and I can't see what I've typed, so obviously time to sign off.  Have a grat weekedn, everyone.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Crazy week so far..

..I wish it were the "wine speaking" but I haven't had anything! You know how I hate anything related to water issues in the house - like last spring when I had to tear apart the bathroom wall to access a leaky pipe - fortunately Harry was able to fix that pipe with a new pipe and joint. But for last few weeks the pump has being activated more and more frequently and try as I could I could not diagnose the problem. Finally over the weekend the pump was coming on every ten to twenty minutes and I could only lay in bed and time it - no sleeping - just looking at the clock. So Monday morning I cleaned up a bit around the pump and hot water tank, and made a bit of a path from back door to under the stairs and made the call to the plumber. He came in the later morning to assess my problem - of course, I was feeling terrible because of the mess but swallowed my pride and forged ahead best I could. The hot water tank was leaking and a few of the copper pipes so we proceeded with ordering a new tank and he directed me what to do in meantime if the problems exacerbated until Wed when he would come to fix. Wed the new tank was installed - they use plastic tubing now - no more copper.But the gauge on the holding tank kept dropping so he had to check for other leaks. I quickly cleared away in the downstairs bathroom and sure enough there was a constant noise in the toilet indicating that water was flowing. We have not used this toilet for maybe ten or more years and I thought it was turned off but apparently not - the valve was open enough and the water in the tank was just overflowing into the overflow tube. So a new valve was installed in there as well. To make a long story shorter, the issue seems to be rectified. I can expect the bill in the mail as he said he had to calculate it and would mail it to me. That will be interesting haha. I had to go up to North Bay Tuesday - Harry not feeling well so I went on my own to do a few chores and to pick up two CDs Harry had won on the radio. It turned out that one of the CDs was not that at all, but instead two tickets to see a live performance at the Capital Centre Wed night. So after the plumber left Wed we headed up to North BAy - Harry, feeling better, wanted to eat at the Kings Buffet again - it was a terrible meal - cold and awful. Never again I say! But visited Mike for a bit and then to the Centre. I was so tired I really did not want to be there but the show was OK and in the end glad to get out I guess. So it is early morning Thursday and I am planning my day - I think I will actually be able to do some baking - I have taken out a pound of butter three times now only to have to put it back because plans were interrupted. Maybe today will allow me a bit of latitude? And the poor dog has missed out on her usual long walks morning and night so I owe her a walk. Hoping things will settle down a bit now and we can get through the rest of the week unscathed?? Also during all my plumbing consulataions, an old friend telephoned - haven't heard from her for over two years. They live in Petawawa but we met them while in Victoria. She went on and on about their activities and family etc and then said they were going on a world cruise Jan to May 2014 and would we think about joining them. Say what?? It provided me with a silent and private bit of comic relief but quickly responded that it probably wouldn't be likely that we would be able to get away. Do other people actually have such lives? Lots to think about while I have another cup of coffee and kick start my day. Take care

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The wine speaks

Only because I couldn't remember the Latin phrase about truth being found in wine.  Yes, I'm having a good evening.  The latest batch is just right, and I have been enjoying it.  David hasn't been feeling well today, and has gone to bed, but I have had a good nap and now some wine.  "Nuff said.  I played poker for the first time in awhile, and actually won a tournament.  This is the first money in quite awhile--I was down over $12,000 (play money).  Maybe I should drink wine, while I play more often.

I have finished putting together the stock for my next sale, which is in May.  I'm still working on the design for my next major piece, so have been puttering around.  I pulled out the supplies for a series of small purses that I had planned as Christmas gifts.  Beth knows about these, but you may not Cathy.  This is a pattern and some kits that I bought while we were in the States last summer.  I made a couple of prototypes, which I gave to Jessica and  Samantha, but had planned to make up more.  I'm re-considering this. They have turned out to be a PITA to make, and the result is generally useless, unless you want a pencil case.  So, unless you let me know that this is something you really, really want, I am going to forget the whole idea.

Otherwise, life goes on. I have needed a new housecoat.  The old one is getting quite rough and "pilled".  Considering how often I wear it, it doesn't owe me anything.  We decided to start looking and found exactly what I want, at a good price, while we were out today.  I also found a casual jacket for 50% off the sale price--under $20.00.  Bonus!

I made the crock pot Beef Stroganov from the Kraft recipes.  Not bad, but not great either.  It could have cooked a little longer, but I don't  think I will bother making it again.  We have been eating a lot of beef lately.  Not good, so I will have to go back to the chicken and fish for awhile  (Yeah, sure!  David won't eat any fish other than Salmon loaf,  once in awhile.)  But we have been eating better, only because I have to eat so much in the way of fruit and vegetables, right now.

So, just checking in.  Hope everyone is fine--skating and attending meetings.  I have an art workshop on Saturday, which will be my first whole day away from home.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

So much talk about food....

and I am just as bad, with looking at new recipes, and trying some weird stuff. Glad you had a good party Cathy, and by sounds of it wasn't too much stress for you? How much in way of leftovers did you have? I tried a recipe for Magic Holiday Brioches - Salty Brick Cheese Brioche It had a beautiful full page picture of these buns along with the recipe so I was hooked. Yeast dough rolled up with a filling of alfredo sauce, parsely and shredded cheese. The recipe also called for bacon bits but since I don't like those, I left them out.  Very tasty but after eating four of them, a bit much!!
Skating this afternoon - great time for me as it is the first for this season. I walked over to the arena and put on my skates and out onto the ice I went - it is called public skating but I was the only one there for about 20 minutes - just me skating around in circles trying not to fall. Finally a few families came in but by then I was worn out and knew that if I did any more I would be really sore tomorrow.It felt so good to get some exercise and just plain get out! Not much new around here but I have been thinking about starting Christmas prep soon. My Maplewood Christmas castus is flowering finally. When I brought all the plants inside for the winter all the other cactus burst out in bloom except the Maplewood one so I was feeling a bit sad, but upon closer look today, there are many buds coming. I have babied that plant for so many years without it even growing much until about three years ago when it finally bloomed for the first time. Now it has grown bigger and obviously will bloom every year I hope. Mike came to Sundridge the other day to pick up his little freezer we had in storage because he is getting a bit of venison from his hunting excursion. The group has invited him to come back next year so I am very pleased that he has found a good group to be with and that he will have a place with them. I guess it is hard to get into it. Well, the night is closing in, and just thankful I had chance to get onto the blog - haven't been able to acces for a few days. And Cathy, I do buy lottery tickets faithfully but apparently, not the right ones haha Wouldn't it be lovely to get ahold of some of that cash! Weather has been great lately - sunny and mild, so I wonder when that will all change - it has been too much of a good thing for too long! Look out winter..... Take care
Holidays are over, so sad. We had our office party last night. Lots of food. Nobody played any games though. We had cards, and board games, but everyone just visited. Shirley's husband didn't make it. There was a retirement (read that you are laid off but we will let you retire so that our statistics don't reflect all the massive lay offs we have had) function at Riding Mountain Park that he had to give speeches at. Everyone else was here. Two different salads, a brownie cake, some really good cheese dip things (one baked brie, asagio? cheese dip, and some kind of cheese ball that could have doubled as a cheesecake (really good) plus turkey, mashed potatoes, a veggie casserole pickles, olives, buns............. I do so love my food. I got a call at 2am Saturday morning from what I thought was the security at the office (if the alarm goes they phone someone local) turns out it was a techie who had called security and they had given him my number as a contact. They hadn't been able to contact our server in 3 hours and said some switch need to be flipped?!? My intelligent response was "Huh?" I told him that I could go in and look, but I wouldn't know what I was looking for. I also told him that he could call me a noon on a workday and I still wouldn't know what to look for. He said he would come out and check on it (from Winnipeg at 2am??) Anyway, he was worried that the server being down would affect the people working on the weekend. I told him there would be no one there until I got in at 8am on Monday, so we both ended up happy. He didn't have to come to Neepawa in the middle of the night and I got to go back to bed instead of heading to town. He left a notice to check on Monday and he told me if the server was still down on Monday I wouldn't have to do any work anyway, so I thanked him very nicely. Wednesday is the VCC AGM and next Saturday is the VCC craft sale, Sunday we do our annual reading of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Then maybe I can take a break again. Kris & Sandi are coming here for Christmas this year. I know they have a lot more fun with Sandi's family. (large family with all the aunts & uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews), but I really appreciate that they come here every other year. I know it is quiet but I really like to see them. Now I have all the dishes done, some laundry on, the soup stock simmering, and curling on tv. What else could I ask for. Have a great week. And keep buying those lottery tickets! It's back to 50 million on Friday

ps  Curling??  Pati

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Finally made up a half batch of the cheese crackers.  Very unusual and very rich.  Too rich for David, and I find I can only eat one or two at a time.   I think I'm going to keep this one, but only use it for special occasions.  You talk about the expense of ingredients, Beth, and I think the expense of the cheese has to be considered as well.  I keep Craisins on hand, and eat them with my porridge, (high roughage and fruit) so always have a few to put in things.  But David doesn't care for them, so I rarely use them in baking.  And I usually have small bag of pecans in the freezer.  I'm amazed at how long nuts will keep that way.  Mind you, sliced almonds have about a 3 year limit.

We've been using our new bed for several months and quite liking it.  However, do we ever miss the heater that was in the waterbed!  Climbing into a cold bed is awful.

Otherwise, life goes on.  Recovery is "two steps forward, and one step back".  On Tuesday, at my stitchery group, we were talking about the effect of age.  One lady, in her middle 80's, has been told that she is in remarkable physical shape for her age, and she looks it.  Despite surgeries associated with cancer, as well as the chemo, she is now considered recovered, and  looks fabulous.  Another woman, closer to my age ( a bit younger) but widowed just over a year ago, is looking old, and even a little frail.  Knowing what I do about those two, and other women who were there, I have to think that lifestyle plays a bigger role than we think--especially socio-economic status--and I believe there is research that supports that.

For today, I have some committee work to do, then some sewing.  The last couple of nights have been spent vegging in front of the tv, something I haven't done in years--if ever.  When I was younger, I usually had some hand sewing to do while I watched shows.  Last evening, I was quite grateful to find a drama that was interesting, rather than the stupid reality shows that have been the only thing I could concentrate on lately.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No big storms yet...

...I almost feel paranoid looking for the onslaught of snow and wind but so far nothing. There is a dusting of snow on the ground but nothing to worry about. The heavy rain that was promised also did not materialize even though I had put the sump pump outside and ready. So yesterday because the temps fall so drastically, I had to bring it back in and thaw the ice formed in the pipe before storing it away for now. Now I shift into the "christmas" mode to start to get cards done, and decorations ready and soon the tree out of the basement etc etc. So I have been working in the basement store room trying to organize all the boxes of preserves done down this year and a few years past. There is so much it seems hard to think we can ever make a dint but I am going to try. So jam on toast and pickles for every meal will be the norm for now. Yesterday I walked up to the post office, and pharmacy, and of course veered into the Bin Store. I had the recipe for Kris Kringle cookies (Whats Cooking)  and bought the ingredients I needed. I sure hope I do it justice as I will want to justify to myself the expense of white choc and dried cranberries and pecans haha  Patty, don't worry about not baking for awhile as I seem to be doing double duty these days - and the best part is I get to eat it all!!
I sit here thinking about Cathy cleaning her house all day - actually I think I see you sitting right now with coffee in hand and a book open???  I am reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown right now - this is the book that they say was fashioned from parts of The Hermetic Code that described the making of the Manitoba Legislature structures- remember that visit I made where we all read that book? I would like to find it again maybe at the Library - who was the author - anyone remember? Mike is back from his hunting trip but his group is apparently still out for this week - he had to come back to work. They had four deer so far and he imagined the others may get a few more. So he shall get some meat but not sure how it will be distributed. For his first adventure of this nature, I guess it is good that he was somewhat successful ( even if it not my thing at all!!) Well, another day ahead of me so better go for now. Be thinking of you both, and hope you both have a "better" week. Take care

Sunday, November 11, 2012

cheese crackers

I checked the package of McLaren's cheese I had in the fridge. It's been there for over 2 years and has only a slight pinkish bloom on one side.  There is slightly more than half the package, so I should be able to make a half recipe and try these things out.  Just in case, I've put the cheese on the shopping list.

Speaking of recipes, I've been reading a library book and discovered a piece of paper inside that someone must have been using as a bookmark. It has several handwritten recipes, in what appears to be an elderly hand.
Smoochy Mouthwash
Rapunzel Cinnamon hair tonic
Peppermint hand sanitizer
Pepe LePeu It Smells Good in Here air freshner.
The last one even sounds like it tastes good; Simmer in a pot: Apple cider
                                                                                             Whole Cinnamon Sticks
                                                                                             whole cloves
                                                                                             dash of nutmeg
                                                                               and add a few drops of orange essential oil

We appear to have nothing to do except sit around and watch the snow and eat.  Tomorrow's dinner will be Saucy Swiss Steak from the Kraft recipes.  We tried this one before and really liked it.  I froze half and when we ate that, I didn't think it was quite as good as it had been on the first night, but quite acceptable none the less.  The next one I want to try is Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff--maybe on Wednesday.

We got at least a foot of snow, maybe as much as 18 inches.  David was out blowing snow this morning.  It's quite a social event with all of the neighbours out talking and helping each other.  Hard to say how much time is actually spent working and how much is spent socializing.  I notice that the young fellows across the back had their girlfriends  shoveling for awhile but when I looked again shortly after it was just Mom and Dad and the dog out there.

For today, with all of the snow, I'm grateful not to have to go to work tomorrow, even if we have to go out for groceries later in the day.
We tried the cheese crackers from the Kraft Recipe book. Made a half recipe just in case. Used a real teaspoon measure to drop them on the sheet, so they were quite small. Just a bite size. I cooked them for 14 minutes and they were just crunchy, not chewy at all. tried them with some jam, too. I can see they won't last long around here      Cat
Well, we had our first real winter storm this weekend. It was supposed to start on Friday, but by Friday night there was nothing. I bought all the important things to tide me over a storm stay.... licorice allsorts, jellie bellies, chips and taco chips. Obviously I couldn't let them go to waste even if it didn't storm. I should have waited a while. Saturday we had snow, but it stopped by early afternoon. Jim and I went to the Legion Banquet. We would have gone anyway, unless the road was closed. It was running late and dinner didn't start until after 7 pm. (an hour late) They had the Ladies Auxilliary 80th anniversary cake for dessert, so there had to be the ceremonial cutting and then it had to be served so there were no speeches until after that. It was so hot and stuffy that I went out for air and discovered that the storm had finally hit our area. Everything was covered and the wind was blowing. I went back in to warn Jim (they were still cutting and serving the cake). My headache was worse by then, but Jim had to stay to receive his 45 year pin. I ended up downstairs and missed all the presentations. Rrain had left much earlier and phoned back to say the roads were getting pretty bad. Lots of fun. My earache is almost better. This is the last day of the antibiotics. Between the antibiotics and anti-inflamitories I managed to collect some side effects. One killed my appetite, but the other needed to be taken with food. Between the nausea and the runs I actually lost some weight. Now to keep it off as my appetite increases. I tried putting my ear plugs in again last night to shut out the teeth grinding, but I woke up in a couple of hours with the side of my face hurting, so I guess the earache isn't all better. Our Loving well trained dog must be getting a tooth, because she has started chewing on things again. Her favourite is plastic wine glasses, but on thursday she stole my shoe and ate the insoles, and on Friday night, she ate the remote control for our PVR, again. We bought another, again, but this time we bought the $40 instead of the $60. I am so glad that Jim took it upon himself to train the dogs. This is my housecleaning week, and as you can see I am procrastinating. I am going to ease into it and do the easy rooms first and then move on to the ones I am avoiding. Jim has offered to do most of the basement except where the pantry is. that will help a lot. I have the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom (I know I will fit those cloths one day room) and the office (the I don't know where it goes put it in the office room) I think the last two may take at least a day each, if not more. I have a meeting on Wednesday night (teleconference) and my writing class on Thursday night. Beyond that I have to force myself to get this house clean. I know that if I break it down into rooms again, it won't be so overwhelming. I keep thinking "I just did this last year. Why do I have to do it again?" On the other hand, I don't have to go to work. Patty (at work) has already warned me that she will be taking a mental health day when I get back. Too bad the government doesn't offer them. Have a great week.

Friday, November 9, 2012


We have a Re-Store quite close to us, and we've been in there a few times.  They will try to sell anything that is donated to them, and as you said, the funds support Habitat for Humanity.  I have bought individual ceramic tiles there for use in a couple of projects, and even found some beads one day.  You really never know what will be there from old toilets to windows, and dining room suites, but no, not clothing.. The recipients of Habitat for Humanity houses often are able to put in some of their "sweat equity" by working there.

A very nice surprise today.  I wasn't able to attend my Ravenesque group meeting on Monday evening and today there was a floral delivery from them.  A very unusual flower, one I've never seen before.  Stunning!  What a nice gesture!

We got our errands done today.  I was able to get the game Loren had suggested, but we really had to look for it.  We finally found it in a Calendar Club, &games store, in St. Vital Centre.  Then I had to phone all of the people registered for the art workshop tomorrow and tell them we had re-scheduled it because of the travel and weather advisories that have been issued for the area.  One lady tried to argue with me stating that it wasn't snowing here so why were we cancelling.  But many of the registrants were elderly and widows, and they all wanted to talk.  I learned about a husband's hip surgery, how a 75 year old woman turns a mattress and what happens when she misses the bed, how you need to  paint your kitchen or bedroom often as that gives you an excuse to paint a matching picture--all things I was anxious to learn.

Now we just have to sit tight and wait for the storm.  Hope neither of you run into severe weather problems, but then we should be grateful for weather, it gives us something to talk about.


We went to Huntsville today as I mentioned in order for me to attend my appt, go to a new (new to us, that is) store called Restore, and then to the grave to pick up the flowers. I got to the Doctors and the receptionist said she was about an hour behind and if I wanted to go somewhere and come back in an hour it would be OK - she took my cell phone just incase. We drove across the town to the other side to look for this store but even before we got there my cell went off. The Doctor was just about caught up since she had a cancellation and if I could come back I would be seen right away! So we never actually got to the store. I got into the office right away, and then went through the usual process of height and weight, and then Blood pressure. I noticed that my BP readings were a bit high.Then the Dr came in and was quite relaxed saying it was so good to see me every year. Then started to ask about Mike and his deployment to Afghanistan - remembering all this info from previous visits. She talked on for some time in quiet engaged conversation and I got a totally different impression of her this time around. Throughout the rest of the examination she continued with light conversation even talking about herself a bit. I think she was not under strain like in other times when she was behind and the waiting room was full. It was actually a nice visit inspite of the reasons and procedures performed. However, she is now concerned about my BPs and I guess I should be too as I know they have been on the high side for a number of years. I have to take them and record and then send her a copy over the next three to four weeks. I did this before about four years ago so hope that maybe the readings will stabilize a bit . We finally got to the store and it was a Habitat for Humanity second hand store - furnishings, building materials and household articles, but no cloths. Interesting but I wasn't interested in anything! Anyway, the weekend weather report just on the TV states freezing rain and issues a warning for driving We are supposed to go to North Bay and do our thing with Aunt Ev so tomorrow morning will have to reassess and make a decision then. Have a nice weekend, and take care


I think the reason I report on my galivanting is  because  an out trip is a "big deal" in our very quiet lives.  One of my goals is to find ways to encourage these small excursions, just a a means of combating cabin fever.  There have been stories in the paper recently about the amount of cloudy/grey time we have had recently, and the effect on those with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I think this can affect anyone, even if some feel it more deeply.

Today I have to take some cheques over to the treasurer of an group I belong to.  She lives on Bartlet Ave, and has been quite worried that I wouldn't be able to find it.  I have re-assured her, by reminding her that I had been there once before.  Then we may head for the mall to start Christmas shopping.  Loren popped in Tuesday to  pick up his chickens, and those pictures you sent, Beth.  We talked a bit about what gifts his children might like, and I think I need to shop early.

This artists' group have a workshop planned for tomorrow, and I had volunteered to act as registrar.  Unfortunately the group chair has had other things on her mind, right now, and I ended up acting as liaison with the teacher, and sorting out things such as the forecast for heavy snow tomorrow.  The teacher is driving in from Gimli, and is quite concerned.  We have agreed to make the final decision later today, but the forecasts remain poor, and I think I'm going to have to find an alternative date for the class.  It will have to be at the art group building, a public seniors centre, and they really think I'm going to find a Saturday before the  the year??

Actually a craft sale and tea sound quite fine, especially if I don't have to make the tea.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baking today

Your message about baking (and eating) was very appropriate for me today as I did some myself.. I told you about making green tomato mincemeat ( page 174 KISS COOKING) to use up some green tomatoes in the fall. It turned out tasting good but bottled up for future use. So today I made a small batch of pastry and with it, made mincemeat tarts - just enough to have a good feed and see if the mincemeat would be ok in tarts which is the way I like to eat it. I am totally happy with the mincemeat and actually surprised it tastes so good not having had much faith in my ability to make my own! So I shall be making a larger batch of tarts later on so that I can indulge my passion. But I am wondering what kind of sauce we used to have on the warmed tarts - was it a custard sauce, or rum sauce or hard sauce or maybe it was just ice cream??  I walked to the Bin Store and bought some red and green cherries and pecans ready to make a batch of refrigerator cookies - oh, how I love them - freshly baked from rolls hidden cleverly in the freezer! Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Sue and pleased to get out and do something different. We had a good talk, and I showed her my pictures from the trip. She gave me  a gift of an owl ornament and a very practical owl bookmark which I am using already. And I gave her a gift of a piece of art done by fibre artist Pat Findlay ( haha) She was genuinely thrilled Patty, and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to show off your work - it make me feel so proud. Tomorrow I go to the Doctor in Huntsville for my annual - Harry and I will both go to Huntsville, as we will be going back through Sprucedale to pick up the flower arrangements on his Mothers grave site to store for the winter. His sister was supposed to get them but unfortunately her husband has been hospitalized and she can't get up there to do it so Harry volunteered. Actually her husband sounds in rough shape with respiratory difficulties with a few days even spent in the ICU. Both her kids are off to university now - one in Ottawa, and the other in Peterborough so she is basically alone now - I think feeling the empty nest more than usual as she really focuses her life on the kids. On Saturday we go to North Bay to attend a church bazaar as guests of Aunt Evelyn - she has called maybe three or four times already about us going so we sure better go - we will pick her up and go the grave of Uncle Walter first before going to the church for the tea and bazaar. On Sunday I plan to attend the local Remembrance Day service - we have for many years gone to North Bay because Mike was in the volley team but this year he is not - actually he is out hunting right now but says he plans to return on Sunday morning in time to join his unit at the cenotaph and then over to the Mess. Sounds as if we are just gallivanting about but it is unusual for us to be so busy all in one week.So time to call it a night - take care.

McLaren's cheese

My Kraft recipes finally arrived today, and I found the recipe you spoke of, Beth.  Actually, it sounds pretty good.  But, I know what you mean about spending a lot on a special ingredient.  Many of the Kraft recipes call for things I would never buy, such as grated cheese combinations.  actually, I would be more likely to buy something special and use half of it, leaving the other half to rot.  Sort of nice to use the whole thing for a special treat.  There were a couple of other interesting things in there such as the Kris Kringle cookies.  Sound like something I would love, although David wouldn't eat them  H-m-m-m.  I would end up eating them all myself.  H-m-m-m.  Have to think about that one.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another adventure

I tried to buy a sweater last Friday, out of a Pennington's catalogue I received in the mail.  The local store didn't know anything about the catalogue, or the sweater, although " it might be in the forty boxes of stock we haven't unpacked yet.  Maybe come back next week".  So David started calling around to other stores and found out that the store on McPhillips had the catalogue and were sure the sweater was in the stock that would be unpacked and on the floor by Tuesday.  We phoned early this morning and were assured that the sweater was there, in the colour I wanted, and they would put away one in my size until the end of business today. So off we went.  Couldn't find the store, although I had the address, and knew the cross street.  Just couldn't find it,---- until we realized we were on Main St, not McPhillips.  Once that was sorted out, and after a couple of crazy U-turns, we finally found our store.  And they had pants on sale as well.  I made my choices and was getting my jacket on  to pay, when a lady pushed out a piled-high grocery cart full of new merchandise and on top were more sweaters--and in different colours!  So I ended up getting a lovely magenta/dark grey sweater instead of the scarlet/grey one I had first seen. And pair of black, "dressier" jeans.  So I have my Christmas outfit for this year.  The difference in customer service between the two stores shocked me.  While I had been in the dressing room, David had talked with the clerk, who knew exactly which store it had been that caused us problems, and volunteered that they were picking up quite  few customers from there recently.

Then it was to the artists' store for watercolour paint, then the bakery, and finally to WalMart for some general health & beauty supplies.  But wait--not only is the parking lot an total maze/confusing construction mess--so is the inside of the store.  They are converting to a "Super Centre", and have been all summer (for some reason this requires a traffic circle to be installed in the middle of the parking lot, as well as blocking off half the of the parking lot for construction trailers and vehicles.  Total chaos!) Anyway, trying to find anything was next to impossible, but we persevered.

All I can say is that I'm grateful that is over and grateful to be home.  With luck I won't have to leave again for awhile.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Blue and yellow fill the outside

Don't know what it is but resembles clear blue sky and yellow bright shining sun! Hope it hangs around for awhile - although it is a bit nippy out regardless. Took the dog to the lake early and observed the seagulls, and ducks floating on the water ducking for food and the shore line was covered with a layer of ice.  Interesting also is that there is still a seadoo machine anchored off shore about 100 ft - has been there all summer. The other anchored boats and crafts have long since been moved onto shore, but this one lonely seadoo sits in the cold. I think it belongs to the marina but they soon better bring it in, or maybe they think it will be used as a snowmachine??
My friend Sue sent an email to remind me of our luncheon visit for Wednesday. I have been looking forward to going, did not forget, and hope the driving will be OK.
Harry and I went to Sturgeon Falls yesterday (1 1/2 hour total to North Bay and then west) He asked on Kijiji if anyone had horseradish and this man called him up to say he could come and dig all he wanted. Then once home he had to clean it all, and then ground it up in a Magic Bullet machine and mixed with vinegar to fill about a dozen pint jars. He was up to about 9 pm last evening finishing it off and since he is the only one who eats it, he did it all by himself. I just turned on the electric floor heaters in the basement - I always wait until absolutely necessary and this year it seems really early - perhaps it shall be a long winter?
Will be listening closely to the USA Presidential election results tomorrow- scary to think what might happe and how it may affect Canada.
Anyway, the week begins and hope you all enjoy. Glad to hear from Cathy, and hope you can soon get that darn blog up and running! Take care

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I will get back into the blog one of these days, but until then it will have to be email. We had the wine tasting last weekend. Right up until the last minute we had no idea if people would come. In the end we had about 75 "tasters" There were 8 tables with about 4 or 5 wines at each. I didn't get to taste them all, but I tried some. I found myself enjoying some red wines and I have never thought of myself as a red wine drinker. I also tried some whites that I detested. I does seem rather wasteful to throw wine away, but that was expected of you. Hopefully they didn't realise that I was tossing it because I hated it and not because I was rinsing for my next taste. We had asked for donations from the 3 major stores in town of fruit and cheese trays. We ended up with 1 veggie tray, 2 meat trays and one cheese tray. Kristy, Don & I spent time in the kitchen rearranging everything. We rolled the salami to make it look like more and used most of the ham in roll-ups that we were making into pin-wheels. We had more cheese and grapes so we made our own trays. Most of the food went, except some salami & cheese. (and not much of that was left) Kristy and I were just winging it when we made the pin-wheel appetisers, but people devoured them. It only ran from 7 to 9 pm, so we were cleaned up by about 10:15. We had to get everything out because there was a church meeting there the next morning. I wonder how they felt about the 4 cases of empty wine bottles we left in the kitchen? Yesterday the snow came. White outs on the highway, cars in ditches. I'm afraid it is going to stay now. Of course we aren't ready. We were still sitting at the patio table last weekend. Now we have to clean the snow off it and the chairs to take them to the quonset. And we can't take them to the quonset until we get the pool out. It has to go to the garage to thaw out so we can fold it and put it away. I have a week off work coming up. Maybe I will do some work then. I better, because I think the office party is here on Nov 17th. (by default... I didn't say no before everyone else did). Now we have to go to town to buy yet another bag of dog food. They sure eat a lot. Have a great day

Kraft Foods Whats Cooking...

The latest magazine arrived yesterday and of course is full of delicious looking items focusing on  seasonal goodies! I was interested in the recipe on page 32 using McLarens Imperial Cheese. I buy a container of this favourite Cheese and then ration my portions to make it last because as you know it is a bit expensive. To use a whole container seems extravagant but on the other hand, may be worth it? So maybe I'll switch this year and forget my usual cheese tarts, and instead try these. What do you think?
Still more snow here and for a while I thought we might see it melt away but now I am a bit worried that this may indeed stay around as it dumped again on us last night - can you imagine winter coming the first of Nov! This morning is housework for me as Harry has gone to Sprucedale again as he does most Saturday mornings So I better get at it, eh?? Fresh coffee is brewed so away I go......Take care

Friday, November 2, 2012

Christmas budget

We, too, have been working on our Christmas budget.  It's almost deflating to reach the stage in life when your Christmas budget just needs a little dickering of your monthly budget--not a concerted effort over 6 months.  We have also been trying to see if we can plan a trip to Mahnomen for our anniversary.  Unfortunately, our anniversary falls on a Friday this year and our coupons are no good.  David called to find out what a room would cost without them and it's over $100.  So much for that idea. But when I think about it, we have absolutely no other reason to travel that far.  I have no need to shop, and Giselle's give a better pedicure.  And Heaven knows I have no desire to sit in a car for that long.

I can't promise to be able to post any more pictures, as the camera is still an issue.  I plan to go through the ones I have that you took, Beth.  I have an idea for a hanging using wind turbines as a focus.  I'm not sure how it's going to work out, but David took me out yesterday and bought me special (black) batting to use for it, so I have to pursue it now.

Time hangs heavy on us, so we've been watching more reality shows.  What crap!  But I think we may be in a position to start our Christmas baking.  I haven't planned much but hope we get some shortbread done.  We usually have it done by the beginning of October, and I bought the supplies, so don't have much choice there either.  The other option I have to keep busy and off the streets is housework.  No contest!

Photos again...thanks

Somehow you have achieved it and so glad to see. The quilt is very colourful and looks very nice and cozy on your bed. Not sure about the spaceship as I could not bring it up closer but if you say it stays close to home, then so be it! haha
First real snow came last night - a beautiful white blanket covers the ground this morning and for me is welcoming. I don't know about enduring four or five more months of it though? Fortunately we hauled all the bags of raked leaves down to the dump yesterday so the yard was relatively clear which helps for shoveling later on. Three loads of bags dumped and it took so little time to rip them apart and dump them that I wonder about the hours it took me to rake and bag in the place. So now the weekend is upon us again. There is a big Christmas Show in North Bay - we have gone in years past but it has lost some of its wonder for me now - many same booths and usually articles of little use short of great gift ideas and usually faily expensive. One year I won $500.00 gift certificates on the radio to spend there and that year we did buy lots for gifts. There will be no exchange of gifts with Harry's sister and family this year - first ever. Of course, we have both Mike and Will but other than that, should be OK.When I think of all the years spent gifting and catering it boggles my mind - nice not to worry so much about it now - not completely stress free but much better haha
Well, the morning starts, and the coffee awaits so will wish all a happy weekend. Just hearing on the news about the highways from here up to and around North Bay and many accidents due to black ice - hard to transition from clean roads to winter road conditions. I will have to make an appt to get my winter tires installed soon. Take care