Wednesday, July 31, 2013

And I have veggies up the ying yang....

...if anyone is passing through! How many cucumbers and tomatoes can I eat in a day, you might ask? While I was out today, Harry walked to the market and bought another basket of blueberries and some beets, and beans. Add that to the already overwhelming list of available food in the fridge - I should have a party perhaps?
Highlight of my day -  I went out to lunch today and met my friends in the Swiss Chalet as planned. We departed from the usual chicken , and we each ordered a different salad, or wrap dish. I had a delicious spinach/chicken salad and quite enjoyed it. But we were not to have dessert as Sue's husband Dave told her that she was to treat us all to Kawartha Ice cream on his behalf. So off we drove to this specialty store - lots of people lined up but we bought our ice creams and then sat in Sue's car to eat and talk some more. I got pictures of us all in the restaurant so will send you each a letter with pictures of my beautiful lily, and of my friends. It was a real treat for me to go out and I thoroughly enjoyed the time. I drove the new car for the first time and had no trouble with the speed control which I have never used before in any car.
Thinking of you Patty as you head out for the Lake, and what are you doing Cathy for the long weekend? Besides the drive in movie on Sunday night, we have nothing planned - probably eating vegetables I would guess haha Take care


Cathy, awhile ago you had said that you wouldn't be able to make any salsa this year.  We have almost 2 cases in the basement from our salsa making frenzy a couple of years ago.  If anyone is in the city, they could pick them up, but I would like the jars back,eventually.  Call first to make sure we are home.  We are off to the lake tomorrow and won't be  back until Tuesday.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Golfing in the rain......

I guess that is sort of like singing in the rain, but it is a lot wetter.  We entered the Touchwood Park Fun tournament today.  It was the 19th annual and the very first time it ever rained..... and rained... and rained.  We made 10 holes (of 18) and I was literally soaked to the bone.  Some teams made the 18 holes but I was too cold to even think of it.  They drew names for prizes and we won lawn chairs.  The price tag on them was 42.99, but there was no way in the world that I would have paid that much.  They are still really nice lawn chairs.  We got a truck load of gravel on Sunday (it was free) but after loading it and unloading it and then golfing I am pretty sore right now.  I also have bruises everywhere.  I am not sure how they happened, but since I bruise so easily it is not surprising after all the work we did.  We have had over an inch of rain already and it is still coming down.  You would have been so proud of me...... I actually took a complete change of clothes with me today, just in case it rained..... including underwear,  Unfortunately I was changing in the bathroom at the golf course and before I could change my panties there was a line up for the toilets.  I had a damp butt all evening, but the rest of me was dry.  I knew I was a brownie for a reason.... be prepared.

Quite an eventful start to my day

I decided to lay in bed this morning for awhile. I am usually up about 5 ish each morning - take the dog out and have a coffee. Then the day just drifts by in slow increments until it's time for bed again! So I slumbered until just about 6 30 am. I made a nice big bowl of Bran flakes covered with fresh blueberries and while carrying the bowl and my coffee to the front room, my hand slipped and the bowl tipped over splashing mushy bran flakes and blueberries all over the pantry and cupboard and onto the floor and under the cupboard and in general made for a messy mess! So I turned this mishap into  a positive by reminding myself that I had intended on cleaning under these cabinets this week as things had fallen behind them, and there was an accumulation of wads of dust etc etc. But I did not necessarily want to be pushed into the job as apparently my accident made it so. haha OK that's alright but then taking the dog for her walk we only got as far as the highway when she started to retch and vomit. Oh dear what is wrong now I said as I turned back towards home. My morning was not going as planned and I could only imagine what the rest of the day would bring forth. As it turned out I got half the cleaning completed but happy to get that much done. You always feel so much better just knowing something has been cleaned or organized, right? Then I had to make some kuchen for Harry and I went downtown to get the mail and return my library book and buy some birthday cards, and buy some candies for Harry and of course some licorice allsorts for me......I finished the book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry last night. I enjoyed the story that you recommended Patty and it was very thought provoking for sure. Then because I wasn't read out yet, I turned to the ereader and The Coocoo Calling.  I will probably get right into it tonight again. We bought more blueberries Sunday - two more baskets right from the farm - actually drove down to the bushes as the owners were out picking there. He said he went to the Market in North Bay on Saturday and took 100 baskets and sold 91 of them. The profit can't be that great though when you think of the tending and then having to pick by hand from the bushes. The bushes mature at 8 years and are good for another 50 years he said. These bushes are 6 years old but the berries are huge and very very good to taste. We froze one basket and are eating at the other ( this is after having already consumed one big basket and another smaller one already)  We have had rain last night and then sporadically today so no watering needed tonight. Yeah! Harry won tickets off the radio station to attend a drive in movie in North Bay Aug 4 - they set up a blow up screen in the parking lot at the College (its the fourth year to do this) The Movie is ET which I have seen many times years ago but hey, it may be fun??? We asked Mike if he would like to come but he politely declined. He told me that the movie scared him when he was a kid. I never knew that! Time to close up for another day - and wonder what tomorrow will bring. Take care

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Turn

I logged in to write only to discover that you both beat me to it!  The week was interesting.  We had seminar on working with people with hearing loss.  Both co-workers and the public.  I was expecting a lecture on what we must do to cater to our co-worker (she arranged the course)  Instead the lady emphasized both sides.  She talked about what we could do to make communication with our co-worker better, but she also talked about what our co-worker should do to make things easier on the rest of the staff.  It really opened up the lines of communication in the office and we all spoke about the difficulties we were having with communication.  All in all I really feel that it benefited our office. And probably most of our hard of hearing clients.  For our anniversary Jim actually bought me some flowers!!  Carnations, which I love.  We ordered in Chinese food (ie I picked it up and brought it home) AND we had a bottle of store bought wine.  Tonight Jim is at meat draw, and he has a ride home, so I am enjoying the quiet time.   (and watching the movie, Dark Shadows) Do either of you remember the soap opera from the late 1960s??    I also met with Elizabeth on Wednesday and told her I really wasn't happy in my status as an Acting DEX.  She finally seemed to listen to me and offered to work out some of my concerns.  I'll stick it out for a while longer and she if things really change.   There is danger of frost tonight. Environment Canada is forecasting a low of 2 (Yes, it is July)  If I had a garden I would worry, but there just isn't anything worth worrying about.  Monday, we are supposed to be golfing in the Touchwood tournament. I have the day off work, so hopefully it won't be pouring rain and they cancel.  Tomorrow I have the joy of grocery shopping.  I just can't seem to taste anything special, so I wander the aisles hoping to find something that appeals to me.  I need to make some meals and get them into the freezer for future days.  When I can't decide what I want I end up with popcorn :) .  I guess my time is almost up.  Jim should be home soon.  I am pretty sure that the friend driving him will stay for a while, so I better brace myself.   Have a great weekend.

Hey, you jumped in...

You must have been writing while I was writing - how exciting to see your post. Now I shall read it!

Hello out there.....

I'm on the air with news about my week  haha! (to be sung something like Stomping Tom Connors Hockey Night -if you are in the mood!!)
Not really news - nothing much new here unless you like to hear about my gardening and yard work?. I haven't driven our new car yet as Harry has done it all but I should get a chance next Wed as I am to join some friends for lunch in Huntsville. I bought a new blouse (at Recycled Resources of course) so I shall have something nice to wear. My friend Sue is always dressed meticulously and presents very nicely with jewelry and matching bags and shoes and always a dragonfly brooch.
We drove through Callander just south of North Bay the other day to view the extensive damage from the storms last week. Trees down everywhere and houses damaged and boarded up where trees had fallen on them. A lovely park on the main street called Memory Tree Gardens has no trees left - every one was blown down and with the cleanup mostly done, only stumps left - huge trees some of them. What a loss. My friend Cheryl in Petawawa sent pictures of their backyard with the neighbours large tree covering their pool and patio and with the gazebo totally wrecked. I guess we were lucky not to get hit quite so bad.
I headed down to the lake after supper to take the dog for her usual walk - halfway down the street I glanced at my Tshirt to realize I had it on inside out. So I casually walked around and headed back home. I felt like I might be looked upon as a demented old lady out walking the streets with cloths asunder. Is life getting so bad that one actually puts on a Tshirt not realizing it is inside out? or perhaps, is it that one doesn't care anymore? Something to think about I guess.
At least I have been able to get out on my bike the last few days. It really feels so good once you get going but there are few places for me to ride except to the lottery store. I need a Tim Hortons here in Sundridge!
Well, enough foolery. Hope your weekend will be pleasant for all of you...Next week Patty you go the Lake and I shall be thinking of you, and hoping it will go well with the Real Estate agent. It is a tough decision to make about finally putting it on the market, but hoping also that it goes smoothly (and quickly perhaps) enjoy your time there over the long weekend. I always feel as if I am there with you haha Take care

Today's adventure started with a bang

Quite literally--a big bang that woke both of us up. Getting up to see what it was, we noticed that we had had a power outage at the same time.  We checked out the whole house, and found nothing. So we had breakfast and started the laundry.  After a bit, both of us noticed that the lights kept flickering.  Then David started hearing a noise that he said sounded like fire so he looked outside.  The noise was coming from the power pole behind the garage.  So he called the Hydro emergency line, and after 15 minutes of propaganda,  got to speak to someone live.  They asked some sort of question that sent him outside again, where there were now visible flames and what David called "arching" at the transformer at the top of the pole. Next was a call to 911.  By this time people on the street had noticed it, and they were also calling 911.  So out came the fire department, and of course, by the time they got here the fire had stopped.  The Captain told us they had been chasing this type of problem all over the city for the past two days.  There was nothing they could do without open flame, and we all just had to wait for the guy from Hydro.  By this time houses all over the area were without power, including us. Neighbours were out in the street. ( maybe it was the fire truck at our house and the fire fighters milling around)  The fellow next door was busy trying to convince the fire fighters that there must be someway we could kill all of the squirrels in the city.

The fellow from Hydro finally arrived and told everyone that this was the second call to Marsden Street today.  Earlier a squirrel had died and cut off power to some of the houses further down the street.  This news just got Lloyd, the neighbour, all upset again, and he renewed his call for wholesale war against squirrels.  Lloyd really hates squirrels and is a little bit afraid of them.  With Hydro on site, the fire truck was able to leave.  We were told that it could be 2-3 hours before power would be restored and that here would be a power surge.  So David disconnected everything, and we went out to run errands.

The rest of the day was somewhat anti-climatic.  Lloyd and I were observing that it took something like this for us to meet our neighbours.  Not Lloyd, of course.  We put up with his harangue against squirrels fairly often.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sale report

My "Big Sale" was a success.  David took along some of the older stuff I had and set up a "bargain booth", and it sold well, so I got rid of a lot of older work.  The only "down side" is that so much of my new work sold that I have to work my fanny off for the next few months getting ready for my show in December.  It was exhausting for both of us, and yesterday was mainly spent resting, but we did need to do a bit of grocery shopping.  We bought beef, and had a lovely roast beef dinner last night.  The rest of the evening was spent vegging out in front of the tv, even though all we could find to watch was Bar Rescue.

This week I plan to take care of the most glaring housekeeping chores, and develop a work plan for filling that gallery in December.  We are heading for the lake August 1st for about 5 days, and I would like to take a fair bit of work down there with me.  Painting and dyeing fabric would work well, but Amber and the girls will be with us for 3 days, and David is apprehensive about painting with the girls around, although I did a bit of that with them a couple of years ago.  August 1st David's sister will be joining us, as she and David have an appointment with a Real Estate agent to talk about putting the property up for sale.  The rest of the family now know about this, which is why Amber wanted to spend a little time down there with the children.  Loren has also asked for a weekend later in August.  This is a significant episode in the Findlay family, and the transition will occupy us for the next year, I'm sure.  I'm hoping that it will ease some family tensions as well.  David's nephew, John, will be visiting for a few days later in August, as part of a cross country trip he and his wife are making.  They emigrated to New Zealand several years ago and this will  be their first time back, although David's sister has visited them there a couple of times.

This is what my future holds, and we'll just have to play it out.  This uncertainty about the future in no way diminishes how grateful I am for the best and most lucrative sale I have ever had.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quiet time

This has been the Lily Festival weekend in Neepawa.  Which to us means the French Fry truck is in town!  Lots of venders selling their precious junk.  Jim did buy me a brewt pot.  You can make coffee or tea or chocolate in it.  You put the grounds in the top and when it is ready, you sit it on top of your cup and a valve opens up and the liquid flows out.  I tried it this morning and it worked great. Kellie and her brother are out for the weekend.  We watched the parade and then a friend with a son 2 years older than Grant took the younger kids down to the park.  We didn't see Grant again all day.  He wants to come back and spend time with Donovan again.  Kellie is taking him up to the lake today to his Aunt's for the week.  My foot is still quite sore, but it is a different sore now.  More like I stubbed it than the gout.  Still hurts, but soooo much less than it did.  I hope to rest it today.  Yesterday I worked at the Legion during the rush after the parade, so I was on my feet for a few hours.  I got $9 in tips and a free drink!  Our garden is a disappointment this year.  The plants are alive, but that is about it.  We will not be getting much, if anything, out of it.  I have already told Kik that she will have to have store bought salsa this year.  18 tomato plants and we have 4 tomatoes and a few flowers,  6 banana pepper plants and one pepper and no flowers.  About 4 green peppers and no jalepenos.  And it should have been a good year with all the rain and heat.  I'm glad that we are not dependent on our garden to survive.  We don't even have potatoes.  Good thing we have Hutterite friends. :)    I missed part of the parade since I had to go and help in the bar, but I think every Filipino in Neepawa was in the parade.  In cars, on floats, walking and even a group of half naked men doing a "snake" dance (in bare feet!)  Talk about community spirit!  They even did a dance display on Saturday afternoon at the tent. I will have to get busy on my stuff for ACT soon.  I have to have the annual report done soon, but so far I have received one report.  I might be doing them myself.  Of course I can't complain,  because I haven't done my report yet either.  Kik was sick this week with a wicked migraine, so she is way behind on her work too.  She came over for supper yesterday after work, but headed home early to get started on catching up.  The community choir is performing today at the Lily Tent, but she said not to come 'cause they have made them part of the "gospel night"  I wouldn't go into the tent anyway.  I would sit outside and listen to her choir and then sneak away :)  JIm has arisen!  Time to be socialable.  Have a great week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

No need to water tonight...

and thank goodness. We have had some rain off and on over the day. Started with a violent thunderstorm last night and then intermittent rain showers today mixed with sunny skies. But the temp has still remained high and muggy. And even though now, there is a bit of a breeze outside, the inside of the house is still hot. May take a day or two of cooler weather to get the house back to livable. The animals seem to really feel the heat and I have had fans going in their direction to try to cool them down. I should be like Mike - he said he took his cat and gave it a cool bath as it was laying on its back on the floor with its legs up trying to keep cool. Mike said the cat acted as though it appreciated the bath. There is another severe thunderstorm warning in place now for our area and tornadoes, of course. Hope that doesn't happen!   Feels funny to look out window and see the new Equinox sitting in the driveway. We drove by the dealership/garage today and I spotted our old car and van parked at the very back of the lot. I guess they will be hauled away to somewhere to be sold.
I got my hair cut today and even though it wasn't all that long, it feels so much better to be trimmed at the neck and around the ears. It was so humid that the hair was falling in my face - when it does that, it is time to get a cut. I also went to the Library and picked up the book on hold for me as I received a message that it was waiting for me. Just the other day I bought another book on KOBO - the new thriller called A Coocoo Calling by Robert Galbraith who is really JK Rowling writing under a pseudonym. I'll leave that to read until after I finish the Library book as I only have two weeks for that. Keep thinking of Patty and Dave at the Pinawa show this weekend and hope all goes well. Hard to imagine it was only a year ago that I was there with them!! I plan to watch a movie tonight - one of the DVDs we have but don't know what yet which one I'll pick. I would like a nice comedy or "chick flick" - I'll let you know. I had a long conversation with the new next door neighbour from Holland this morning. He really talked a lot and I found out much about their story in just this one talk. I haven't seen her yet but I'm sure over next few weeks that will occur. well, time to go. Have a good weekend Cathy, I know what Patty is up to, so what are you going to do?  Fingers crossed for the lottery tonight!! Take care

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I think you will like the Equinox.  we had one for a while and was a good versatile car.  With the back seat down you can carry a lot of stuff, and the back seat when used for passengers is really roomy.  Kris and Sandi were very comfortable in the back seat with lots of leg room (they ended up getting a torrent, with is the GM equivalent of the Chevy Equinox)  I haven't been ignoring everyone.  I just haven't been feeling great and enjoyed reading more than writing.  I am working and coming home and resting.  Some life, huh?  I haven't even been in to garden for a couple of days.  Jim has been great.  Cooking and stuff.  It's nothing serious.  But I definitely have gout in one foot and it is sooooooo sore.  Having to go to work isn't helping I guess, but I shouldn`t complain since I went out for 9 holes of golf on Sunday.  I spent more time in the cart than I have ever done before.  We are supposed to golf 18 holes in the Touchwood Park tournament on the 29th.  If I am not better I will NOT be golfing.  The doctor feels I should be a lot better in a couple of days, but when you hurt a couple of days is a long time.  Speaking of time I better eat so I can take my drugs (not that I need an excuse to eat)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Books and things....

I went to the Library today to see if I could take out one of the books you mentioned. The Saturday Night Widows apparently is a new edition for 2013 and thus will not be available at any Library for some time to come. The Harold Fry book is available at this Library but currently signed out so I am on the waiting list for it. Something to look forward to....
On another note, something NOT to look forward to is Thursday - this will be when we take two cars to the dealership and exchange them for one new lease car - a 2013 Chevy Equinox. I spent the entire day going back and forth to the dealership negotiating ( this is after first vacuuming and cleaning both cars) I drove a Cruze car home for Harry to see, and then this Equinox. He is used to more room with always having a van or truck, so this is the one we shall get. The issue for me right now is the lose of my own transportation. I have always had my own car since we moved to Sundridge and I shall have to adjust to this change.  Oh, poor me.......I think I will go and have a nice bath and ponder a bit more. Take care

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Uplifting thoughts

The Saturday Night Widows was really quite uplifting.  This was actually an unconventional therapy group for younger widows.  They had all decided, at some point, to go against  the concept that widows were expected to live out their lives in mourning.  It was not a novel but rather a decently written accounting of their thoughts and actions, over the course of a year.  Six of them decided to get together once a month and do something they had never done before, but at the same time they were willing to share their thoughts and feelings.  I almost wanted to cheer them on!

The Pilgrimage was a novel and followed a man who walked the length of England to visit a friend who was dying of cancer.  He was a simple man who believed that as long as he walked, his friend would live.  Most of his thoughts were on his marriage and what had gone wrong with it--which sounds dead boring--but his life review, as it were, made him realize that he wasn't the failure that he had always thought of himself.  I found it inspirational in that he influenced, and was influenced by, the people he met on the walk, and that by changing his behaviour, he influenced his wife to change hers.

To be an inspiration, I think something needs to cause you to consider your own thoughts and behaviour.  Sometimes we don't like what we see, and this may result in change.  Sometimes it makes me look at the why behind my behaviour.  Recently, this is the most frequent result, and can often lead me to think that some of my decisions, although sub-conscious, were right.  An affirmation, if you will.

Yes, you are right

Sometimes I think my choices in reading especially the supposed inspirational stuff causes some very unsettling moments as opposed to the expected results of peace or tranquility? At least this is my take. I wonder why I bother to read them except I am also drawn to viewing words that I am hoping to help! Quandary for sure. As for hair colour, I forgot to write a few words on that last night. You have done much better than I - For a few years now I have spotted the grey sneaking in - most prominent when I look at myself in the rear view mirror in the car for some reason - probably truer light? But still and all, my hair is still mostly brown and for that I am thankful. But getting back to your books - I always like to get suggestions and I think I'm game for self reflection haha so may take a glance Take care

Deep thoughts

Over the past few days I have been reading two books--Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman  and  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by Rachel Joyce.  I have heard it said that certain people or things come into your life at just the right time.  It is odd that I picked them up, as I usually go for mysteries or sometimes a biography.  Both contain a very subtle message of a search for what is important in life, not in global sense but in relation to the lives of the people in the books--in both cases examining their relationships with those around them.  Such a vague description doesn't begin to tell you about the emotions I found in the books, and the review of my own life that may result.  I have a hunch that I may be unsettled for a few days, while I think about this.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

We need more lists I guess?

I have often thought that I must blog this or that, and then forget, so I have taken to listing what I could write. Sometimes it works, but usually when I actually get onto the blog the points don't seem to be pertinent anymore! So I will continue to let you know about the garden, and that I just came in from watering. We need to do a rain dance as things are very dry. I took my bike to the lottery store this morning. If nothing else I am getting some exercise because I am certainly not making any monetary gains with the actual lottery tickets I am buying haha  I finished the book I bought for the KOBO last night so have no more books on that device to read. I may pick up one of my paperbacks I have stored on my shelf tonight. It remains hot and sticky but taking off my socks and shoes and paddling in the lake sure feels good. Tonight I actually had Scooby in the water but she was not impressed at all. So many people there at the beach and in the water that I wasn't sure if I should  have her in as they posted NO DOG signs all over but we weren't close to the others. In the mornings it is quiet and calm and I have seen fish swimming in around the dock. People have said there is sometimes good fishing right off the dock so I shouldn't be surprised to spot them. Our new neighbours arrived from Holland this afternoon for a four week stay. It is the first time for the wife to be in the house so I expect she will have some settling in to do. Good thing her sister lives across the street. When they arrived we called over to welcome them to Canada and so met them and shook hands. They will be tired after flying from Holland and then driving up from Toronto plus the time difference of about 8 hours. She seemed friendly and cheerful when we met this afternoon - a little different than her sister so time will tell what kind of neighbours they will be. I have no idea when they will move here for good - thought I heard him say five years when the man was here in May but I could be wrong. Take care....

Mind like a sieve

Several things happened this week that said to me" you've got to blog this".  Well, darned if I can remember what they were.  Maybe the small pleasure of watching the squirrel standing guard over the bird feeder, and actively chasing the Grackles away.  Maybe the small pleasure of eating the still-warm sourdough bread that David has been baking.  Maybe the joy of finally getting to do work on my tree piece and seeing the beautiful color and sheen effect of the very expensive, internet purchased thread I'm using.

The McGrath hair genes have let me down.  Earlier this week I noticed that I was getting a bit of grey--enough for me to see in the mirror while curling my hair.  Yesterday I went for a haircut, and the lady looks at my head and says " You have hair like my mother's with that "salt'n'pepper" thing going on".  Well the McGrath genes may make me fat, but I always thought keeping dark hair into my seventies was the compensation.  Nope!  I keep saying that when it comes to aging, I don't want to go, but no-one seems to be listening.

We will be heading for the lake on the long weekend, and Amber, with her girls, will be joining us for a couple of days.  She says that Jessica has been asking to go, but Amber, herself, doesn't want to have to look after the two of them on her own, down there.  We will need to either get rid of, or move, the outhouse this year, but Gail has said that the younger men in the family can do it.  She is getting a little PO'd with the family using the place, but expecting her, and David, to either do the maintenance or pay someone to do it.  I think she is hoping to get her son Doug down for a weekend, to maybe supervise Lyala's two boys doing the work.  Not that they are boys anymore as Norman is well into his 20's and Harry  about 19. Gail's other son, John, is coming to visit in August.  He and his wife, Emma, emigrated to New Zealand several years ago, and their visiting is a "big deal".

Next weekend is the big Pinawa sale for us--our only "big sale" this year.  Now that we're down to the crunch, I have to make decisions about what is going and what price to put on it.  The hardest part of that is giving every piece a title, as I've been told that things sell much better if they have a title. So, off to work, and have a good weekend everyone.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Gosh, I've had to think a bit about herbs.  I have used Thyme in my tomato sauce, but not often.  Sweet Basil adds to the flavour of just about any dish containing tomatoes. Rosemary works well with chicken, in meat or vegetable rubs, and also in many Greek dishes such as Souvlaki.  Dried parsley is good in stews and such, so I imagine that  the fresh parsley would do well there.  I used to dry my own Parsley, and the scent would permeate the house for a couple of days.  I used to love that scent.  I don't think I've ever used Fernleaf dill, but did use dill in dips.  It can also be used sparingly when mixing a rub for roasted vegetables. I've never heard of your version of "celery", but wonder if it is related to Cilantro, which is a green leafy plant.  I used to use that often, but darned if I can remember where.  Salsa???  Soup??

I think you are right about considering the circumstance,s when deciding to eat out.  We have no hard a fast rule about it, although if I were served raw fish, think I would make it a rule not to go back there ever again.
Once in awhile we do order take out from the Chinese restaurant in the mall.  Just as often we just buy the fried rice, and serve it with whatever is on the menu.  Breakfast used to be at Tim's, as often as we were able to ride our bikes, but we just order drinks now, since the price went up.  I believe that you have to treat  yourself once in awhile, but good restaurants can be expensive, and often I don't see any justification for it.

Today my threads arrived.  I have used them a bit to check them out, and love the effect they give.  I also received a DVD that I had ordered.  It was quite a surprise to see that it originally came from Sweden, although I ordered it from the States.  Global economy, I guess.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


For a few years I have been trying to cultivate a little herb garden - this year it is doing very nicely with a few additions and some tlc. So now I wonder what I am to do with them and ask the experts - you folks. This is what I have growing:  English Thyme, French Tarragon, Sweet Basil, Rosemary, Sage, Parsely, Fernleaf dill, and a green leaf plant called celery but it is not what we think of as celery, and of course Mint. Every time I tend to the garden I pick a few leaves off each and eat them and each has its own particular flavour. So, how and when and with what can I make use of them. Any suggestions welcome. I have a Herb Book but it doesn't really tell me much except what they are and their medicinal uses. Another hot day today and much outside work accomplished. Sucks the living life out of you though haha  We have discussed the cost of going out to eat over the last little while ( since that horrendous expensive meal of raw fish I had last week) and decided that it would be much more economical to purchase a nice product and cook it at home eg Harry bought some big thick salmon steaks at Metro on Tuesday in North Bay, and we had them grilled with a lemon based marinade and they were absolutely delicious. They were on sale but cost almost 25.00 for four but still better than the 60.00 restaurant charge we paid last week! So this afternoon we were resting in the shade and Harry wanted fried rice for supper. I said I could cook some as I had all the ingredients needed but in light of the hotness and both of us worn out, we ordered from the local Chinese restaurant instead - dinner for two with egg rolls, fried rice, sweet and sour chicken balls and beef chow mein. I walked up to the restaurant ( I had just drank a beer) to pick it up and we ate it outside. I guess you have to consider the circumstances of eating out versus home made, and tonight it seemed just right to order take out haha Now I think I'll get ready for bed and read for a little bit under the fan. It is hard on the animals to be so hot and humid and without central air, I have fans blowing all around - sort of circulating hot air but it does feel a bit cooler! Cathy, is your internet faster now? Take care

Friday, July 5, 2013

Quiet times

Just puttering around, and working in the studio.  Had a bit of a surprise with my auto insurance.  For the last year, we've been paying "new car insurance", which means that the car is insured for $20,000, should it be written off.  We had thought that this was for the first year, but evidently it is for two years.  So my auto deduction didn't go down, but we have a little extra insurance instead.  When we worked out our budget for July, we realized that it was going to be a long, tight, month, so we decided to live out of the freezer, and then clean it out at the end of the month. ( we do this every 18-24 months--whether it needs it or not) This leads to some interesting meals, such as the necessity to eat boneless chicken breast every second day for the whole month. I'm taking the opportunity to live out of my pantry as well, which is even more interesting.  The other night we tried Chunky soup over rice again.  Now I know that there is a reason we don't eat it that way.  But I'm also trying to use up cake mixes, many of which were bought over a year ago in the States.  Maybe it's not just the new  pills that have resulted in a big weight gain over the past two weeks?  You think?

Wednesday and yesterday, David and I worked at cleaning out my thread baskets--all 24 of them, plus two full shelves.  I half filled a 5 gallon pail with discards, and filled a grocery bag with better quality thread, that just isn't going to be used by me.  That bag was to go to the thrift store, but David offered it to the lady across the back to use in her volunteer work with MaryMound.  She was pleased to get it.

I may have mentioned being very pleased and satisfied with getting all of my windows washed.  This was part of a list I made up of 24 items that I would like to see done before snowfall.  Another one was crossed off the list yesterday--cleaning all of the floor level went covers.  Making the jam perhaps should have been on the list, but wasn't.  And yes, cleaning out the freezer and pantry are actually on the list.  I figure that if we can do one or two a week, we should make the deadline. If this all makes you wonder where I'm finding my energy, you have a point.  I think the new medication is working very, very well.  It's as though I have come awake after a very long nap. It's surprising how chronic pain can weigh you down, both physically and spiritually.  At this point, I haven't taken a Tylenol since Monday--and they haven't been missed.

So, for today, I am grateful for Aleve/Motrin, someone to help me with my job list, and, unfortunately, prune juice, yet again..


My last official day of holidays.  I have done absolutely nothing since Tuesday.  It has been great.  I've read a couple of books (okay, more than a couple)  I even got in the pool finally.  It was empty for a change.  I also turned into the "Little Dutch Boy" and had my hand over a leak in the side of the pool.  It sort of looked like a little boy peeing.  Jim put about an inch of silicone on it and covered it with duct tape.  We couldn't let the silicone dry since I was trying to keep the leak covered from the inside.  It is a little damp on the outside of the pool, but the water isn't spewing forth anymore.  The garden is mostly weeded.  I need to run the tiller down a couple of rows.  The wood pile is tidied up.  We never did finish cutting since the new chain doesn't fit our chain saw.  I was sitting outside reading, but the chair is one of those cheap plastic ones and my back started to ache, so I came inside for a break.  I didn't even shut up the house today.  It is so hot by evening anyway, that I decided not to bother.  We went to the new Target store in  Brandon yesterday.  I doubt if I will make an effort to go back.  The prices seemed a bit higher than I would have expected.  Walmart may not be my favourite store, but at least it is cheap.  Holiday Festival starts tomorrow.  One of Keri's friends is teaching the children's drama, so she will have company for the week.  It will be nice for her.  I guess I should pretend to do something ambitious.  Like read another book!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A little bit of rain let me down.....

Scooby and I were working in the garden when a storm came up with thunder and then lots of rain only for a little while. enough to drive us into the house and start pumping at the front but as quickly as it came, it has gone. Taking advantage of some free time and free computer access haha We went up to North Bay quickly this morning to buy another budgie because one died last evening. They need company so thus needed another to make up the pair. Right now they are just looking at each other and getting used to new companions. I have found a really nice yoghurt called Astro Original Natural Yoghurt that comes in 8-100g containers in a sleeve. The flavours are: Vanilla, Black Forest, Caramel and Cappucino. I know it is a treat but I have really enjoyed the taste. They say to have one yoghurt a day to ward off "the blues" and although I don't think its really working, I am liking the yoghurt haha.  We got 4 baskets of strawberries yesterday and I baked most of the day - kuchen, pie, and cake. Also made a banana cake with some overripe bananas. And eating lots of fresh strawberries in yoghurt. I had to get a bag of ice to put into a cooler because I didn't have enough room in the fridge to store the baskets yet to be consumed. Well the rain has stopped and I should get on with the rest of my day. Just got a call from the insurance company to say they had a message that our automatic deduction of house insurance for end of June was returned with note that it was NSF. This is embarrassing so I must now run down to the office and pay them cash and then go onto the computer to figure out what went wrong. Never rains but it pours - oh well, keeps we busy haha Take care

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Still hot and humid

We are spending a lot of time staying in the cooler house. In someways I miss being able to sit in the yard,but it was never one of my great pleasures, although a small treasure periodically.  Beth, your love of your yard shines through in your postings, even if it is a lot of work.

Saturday we went out to "Selkirk to pick up my piece from the show there.  I was very surprised to be told that my piece had received more favourable comments than any other in the show. this is the Marsh in the Mist piece that I had been unhappy with.  Monday evening I took a pictures, of the things I have been working on lately, to my Ravenesque meeting, and there were more very favourable comments, with people saying that it was their favourite, of all the pictures I showed them. So maybe there is something there that I'm too close to to see properly.  This has certainly happened before.  I will take it to the Pinawa sale and see how it's received there.

I mention our little trip as I took the camera searching for willow trees.  The piece I am working on now is of a Prairie "wind break", also known as a shelter belt.  This is working well enough that I want to put a little extra effort into it.  I didn't get any pictures, but came to realize that there are scrub willow, weeping willow, and thewonderful willow trees depicted by the great Regency painters.  I did some internet research and got some very nice pictures, did a lot of sketching, and on my bike ride Sunday morning, discovered a magnificent willow tree in the park close by.  I'm now in the process of sketching the basic trees onto my background and will then fill them out with thread painting.  So today we went over to the local quilt  store to buy thread.  Certainly no joy there, so I ordered some of the internet, but don't expect it to arrive until, at least, Friday. Delayed gratification is not one of my secret pleasures.

Tomorrow I have promised to spend some time baking.  We are finally going to make our yearly rhubarb pie, and maybe two batches of jam, and two or three banana loaves for the freezer.  ( Bananas were on sale today)  Two weeks ago the doctor started me on a new medication, and I have gained over 7 pounds since starting to take it, so not the best time to be baking goodies.  But he also recommended an otc medication that may be just as good, although less strong, so we bought it today and we'll see what happens.  I'll let you know.

So how is the holiday girl ??

Assuming Cathy that you are relaxing under the umbrella and reading a lot? Regardless, it is a nice feeling to know you can sleep in each morning, right?  Are you really thinking of not having the swimming pool next year?
Not much new here....I mentioned the situpon ( the little gazebo thing we have in our garden) that we were cleaning out and refreshing with a new coat of paint.  I got it all sanded down ready to paint when discovered one of the supporting beams - a six foot long 4X4 was rotting. So a few trips to the hardware store and a few hours of hard labour, and a few words, and it has now been repaired satisfactorily. It is now painted and sits proud as can be. I have already taken my usual  morning coffee sitting in it once and intend to do so many more times. Tomorrow we are off early to pick strawberries. Most of my days are spent working in the yard as there is so much work to be done. I haven't even been out on my bike lately. I bought the next book in the series by Steve Berry off of KOBO the other day but will keep it on hand until I  have finished the real book I am reading just now. I say real because it is there in your hand and you can turn pages and feels good. I love the e reader but I also love to feel a book book ! Hard to think that it is July already, and before long we shall ask where was the summer - so I make sure I enjoy every day by walking to the lake and soaking in all the niceness of it! Harry went garage saleing on Saturday and brought home a box full of old magazines pertaining to quilting. Some are really old (1983 ish) and few really recent but I am gradually looking through them. I mostly just turn the pages and think of all the fine projects I would like to do, but realize will never be accomplished. But it is fun to look! Quite a change from todays "modern quilting" methods that was highlighted in the recent Canadian Quilter magazine I just got a week or two ago. Anyway, time for bed. Take care