Saturday, August 30, 2014

Interesting time working at the Fair....

We went as requested on Thursday for 1030 am to the fair grounds.  Our contact was not there so I went in to the show barn and offered to help out - many ladies there doing their thing but none of them accepted my help. Feeling awkward, I left and went outside where a bunch were trying to erect a tent. I jumped in and helped out best I could inspite of the lead hand who did not know how to put it up, and had the wrong poles on hand. Went back and forth many times to a shed bringing different sized poles and left me and a few others holding up the half erected tent. Harry was also helping here and so after looking for our contact again and not finding her, we left and came home feeling that we were not really needed. She called us the next day and apologized but as it turned out, she was put into an awful situation - the president resigned on the Thursday and she was left to pick up all the pieces and take over completely. She insisted that she was counting on us to help this morning for the parade and then for car races this afternoon. So, we went again for 9 am. I was to help judge the floats and organize the orderly flow of the parade (with another lady). It was fun but hectic and so I had a great time doing what I thought was best but never having done this before, did not really know. eg "Best running antique car" Best running antique tractor" What a hoot! Then over to the Fair grounds, and time for a hot dog, and then to the wooden car races (cub cars). I was to register the entries and then organize the schedule for the individual races or heats, to determine the eventual winners 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. What a hoot(again)! We got home about 3 pm. Don't you wonder sometimes what you get yourself into?? The rain held off for the day which was good because thunderstorms were forecast. it is raining now, and i hope it won't be too much as i would much rather go to bed than pump water haha.
Hope you weekend is going well. Tomorrow I'll have to catch up on housework - laundry etc. And the tables in the front room are completely covered with produce that I have to do down. Looked for more recipes for green tomatoes. How dos a green tomato pie sound to you? Anyway, really tired so off to bed Take care

Thursday, August 28, 2014

pay day and power cooking

Yes, that time of month again.  We had been living out of the freezer for the last month, hoping to empty it so we could clean it, but ran out of options for meals. So, we had to buy meat--Kachin-n-n-g!  I usually budget $2/person/day for meat, but with the price of beef had to do some fancy juggling.  Still, with a little care I managed to stay within the budget, but it meant a lot of power cooking.  so we started this morning, and by noon had the three biggest slow cookers bubbling away on the counter.  Tomorrow we'll deal with meatballs and hamburger patties for the freezer.

I made the mistake of mentioning that I was thinking about blueberry muffins and maybe a cobbler, so, of course, David made sure we had ice cream for the cobbler.  Over breakfast I started looking for recipes. but, lo and behold, there were blueberry muffin recipes in today's paper.  On second thought I don't believe I'll make my blueberry muffins with oat flour.  I am very grateful that I kept all of the old Five Roses and Pillsbury cook books I got when I married.  They are in tatters now, but I still use the recipes out of them.  More modern books talk about making cobbler with pie filling, but no mention of actually using real berries.

We also bought the makings for four batches of Rhubarb and \pineapple jam.  I'm not sure when I'll get to that!  This, too, was in an effort to clean out the freezer, as a good chunk of it is filled with last year's rhubarb.

Our only real extravagance this pay day was to buy a small panini cooker.  I also bought the meat and cheese to make myself a Reuben sandwich.  I had one a couple of months ago that had been cooked that way, without using butter on the bread.  Well, I tried it today for lunch.  Needs a little tweaking.

Beth, did you check Not Afraid of Color today? Seems like she made a whole bunch of owls while she was on holiday.  So cute, and I love the flower eyes!

So time for poker now.  We are both quite tired.  This working bit is for the birds, but mainly finished, so no worries.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keeping in touch

Seems a few days since I wrote, and if I want to see messages from you folks, I better pull my share as well!
Really busy - this harvesting is all consuming. Tomorrow it will be another batch of ketchup - bought more ingredients today and the tomatoes keep piling up. And crabapples galore. Made one nice batch of juice so far. Harry started to pick more apples this afternoon while I went to the store and promptly quit when he fell off the ladder onto the cement blocks. Oh boy!
A few big apples are falling off the one nice tree and I collected them with intent to make "original Pancake House Apple Pancake" for breakfast tomorrow.I have the recipe out ready to get at it as soon as I get up ( and get a coffee in me) Speaking of coffee, I feel a little dismayed at hearing of the takeover of Tim Horton's by Burger King. We do not have a Burger King Restaurant near us. Used to be one in North bay but closed years ago. Time will tell what it will mean for Tim's but in meantime, I shall continue to enjoy every time I can indulge myself with a Tim's coffee or other goodies.
One day soon I shall be able to introduce you to my OWL. Every spare minute I have , I have been working away at her creation, and making good progress. Slow and steady seems to be my mantra to get the job done to my satisfaction. I went into that fabric store in South River this afternoon - the one that is closing end August. Now everything is 75% off but little is left. Two ladies were having a ball buying up metres and metres of fabric by the bolt. I had a look at the remaining fabric selection and nothing interested me.  I don't think I ever intended to buy anything anyway, as I have so many boxes of fabric on hand that I could use if and when I get involved with a project.
We confirmed our volunteer commitment today with the Fall Fair organizer for the weekend. We have to go at 11 am Thursday to set up and they will be providing a meal at supper for us.We do NOT have to go Friday as previously stated, but then go again at 9 am Saturday to help with parade, and then Cub Car Rally races. So it will not be as bad as I originally was led to believe.
So how are things there?  Take care

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rain-day 5

Is this a case of "be careful what you wish for"?  Five days a gentle -and not so gentle-soaking rain.  It is August and today we went out with jackets.  We have extra quilts on the beds, and everything feels damp.  However, we don't have to work in the garden-bonus!(Although it's getting so out of control that "somebody" should be working out there.)

Yesterday, Young Samantha came to spend the afternoon so that the rest of the family could go to a baseball game. Evidently it is soe promotion where young ball players are out on the field, and get to meet players.  Jessica's team was selected for yesterday's game, and Samantha didn't want to go.  I guess she has spent a lot of time on the sidelines while the older girls play.

She brought a laptop so she could play her computer games, and after getting it into the household WIFI ( Password? We have a  password?), changing all of the plug ins, etc the game lasted about 15 minutes, before she became more interested in what I was doing. 

So Samantha took the first steps in learning to sew on Grandma's big sewing machine.  She made a blanket for Barbie, including ironing the seams.  I chose the big machine, instead of one of the two simpler machines, for two reasons: it had a start/stop button and she didn't have to learn to control the foot pedal, and I could turn the operating speed down to " bull low".  She was careful and suitably cautious, doing a respectable job for a 6 year old.  Then, by the time she had done some painting, and had lunch ( cooked her own in the microwave), and a little more computer time, Grandmas had time to set up something a little more challenging, and she tackled a simple wallet, although Grandma had to sew on the Velcro.

Overall, a good afternoon was had by all, and I still managed to get my work to the stage I had hoped, by supper time.  Then I spent time thinking about how children manage to adapt to society.  Samantha was able to turn on her computer and set up the games she wanted--she played several over the course of the afternoon,  She had no trouble cooking Kraft Dinner in the microwave. She told me that she is learning to ride a two-wheeler.  Within the society in which she lives, all of these are just a matter of course, for six year olds.

David has asked about the blueberry muffins, so we may tackle that in the next day or so.  Tomorrow I plan to head out to Selkirk to talk to a lady about buying some beads she no longer needs.  She may not remember that I know she bought them cheap at a thrift store, so I anticipate a bit of bargaining.  Since the latest A&W coupons arrived in today's mail, we may even stop for lunch!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wow! Where was I yesterday?

Not strictly true.  We drove toward the mall in some very heavy rain.  Saw a poor young woman pushing a baby stroller down the street.  She had another one with her 5-6 years old who was trying to stay under an umbrella and keep the umbrella over the baby at the same time, and the rain was so hard that you could barely see across the street.  I sure hope they made it home safely.  Nothing in this morning's paper though.

Well, we signed the contract for the bathroom renovations.  Replacing the flooring, and whatever part of the sub floor has been damaged.  There is a lead flange below the toilet that needs to be replaced, and then the toilet will be replaced as well, with a higher, more sturdy one.  They expect to do the job in mid-September.

I picked up my new glasses this morning, and then got a call this afternoon that my sunglasses were in.  It will take awhile to get used to these as the frames are heavier than any I have worn before.  They look heavy and black, but in the sun or good light the blue comes out.

My joy today and yesterday comes form the fact that my brain is full of ideas and I have been able to spend lots of time in the basement the last couple of days.  The more I do, the more ideas seem to come.  It's almost scary!  Bought paint yesterday--what a treat!

Nothing else going on here.  Lots of reality shows on tv, maybe a bit of poker tonight

Sorry to complain about my rain...

I just watched the video on Free Press web page about all the rain in Winnipeg yesterday. What a terrible situation. The article did mention though that Transcona seemed to miss the worst of it all. Is this true Pati?
Wishing you all a good weekend in spite of the water. How about you Cathy? Did you get hit as bad?
Today I have pickles to make, and then tomorrow another batch of ketchup. The tomato plants are basically dead- the leaves are all yellow and falling off, but the tomatoes are still hanging on and getting bigger. Should make for a few more batches at least haha
Take care !

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pumping rain...

I was pumping from about 3 am this morning. By 6 am it started to subside so time for coffee and relax. I went downstairs to find the pasta machine and heard "drip,drip,drip...drip" and looked up to the rafters to see water leaking from a pipe. I could have cried!  So for the next few hours I was moving and clearing in prep to call the plumber. It takes maybe two days to clear enough room for him to come in. In this case i had to empty and then remove a five shelf huge unit covered with full jars of preserves. Right now they are in boxes on the picnic table outside under a tarp. it was about this time in my work that i thought to check the upstairs bathroom because in the past the rain has come in there from the roof. Sure enough it was wet in spite of my climbing on the roof long ago with the silicon gun! I had put  plastic protective cover downstairs from the ceiling to the floor to catch the leaking water but when I looked there was no water.  So the detective in me deduced that the water had dripped from the roof to the basement. Now, you say, that's not good! No it isn't but it's what I've got to live with right now. So I think I have NO leaking pipes but will check closely for awhile. I put the call to the plumber on hold as well.  And, what to do with the preserves? Oh, who knows....too much to think about for now haha!
Right now I'm going to have a bath and go to bed. Tomorrow we go to a Visitation in Burk's Falls.  When Harry's parents moved in 1977 from the farm to the town, they actually traded houses with a young couple. Now the wife has died (at 68 years) so we shall go to pay our respects. They were always good to Harry's parents, and the husband was a pall bearer at Harry's Dad's funeral.
Take care - stay dry!!
ps we made pasta this afternoon on a new machine Harry got at flea market. It mixes the dough in the bowl and then squirts it through the disk of the shape of pasta you want and out the nozzle. At least this is what it is supposed to do. What a laugh!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


We started with a 5:45 alarm, and into the Doctor' full waiting room before 6:30.  I had spent Monday evening filling out my portion of the pre-surgical papers, to deliver to the surgeon in another part of the building, carefully separating the forms for my doctor.and putting them all in a large envelope.  Well, got into the examining room and no forms for him.  Quickly out to the waiting room and asked David if he would pop home and bring them off the kitchen table. He was back by the time the doctor actually joined me in the examining room. Definitely a "hurry up and wait" office. As well as the forms, we planned our approach to the surgery, resulting in a cortisone injection to the right knee right away.  He wants that knee to be as strong and painless as possible for the rehab, so if this works, he may do it again a few days before the surgery, even though the usual wait is 6 months not two.  The "fun" part of this is that the whole waiting room heard me ask him to get them for me, and the same people were still waiting when he got back. Evidently he had quite a conversation with a couple of them and a good laugh about the situation.

Then it was off to the lab, x-ray and EKG.  We got away from the building about 9:15, and I had a 10:30 on Main St North of the perimeter, and we weren't really sure of the address.  But we took the time for a quick breakfast at Tim's anyway.  For that I am grateful.

The other meeting involved assessing a conference facility for the annual get together of the western Canadian Fibre Art Network.  The conference is here in 2016, and the coordinator asked me to join her to look at this facility, as we had both been involved last time it was here.  A decent place and almost exactly what our group is used to in terms of facility, so we agreed that she would recommend it, when she attends the conference this year in Edmonton.

Then it was home and a nap.

It was hard to identify "joy" in the day, but as well as breakfast at Tim's, I was grateful to find out that the lab tests I had last time I saw the doctor, showed excellent results, and also to get up to a clean kitchen for the fourth day in a row.  I have been trying to wash dishes after supper, instead of staring at them for half the day when I get up.  Enough times, in the past, they don't get done for two or three days.  ( Not as bad as you may think, Remember I'm talking about pots etc as the china and cutlery all goes in the dishwasher)

Beth, I'm interested that you speak about freezing Blueberries.  I tried it last year and just couldn't force myself to eat them once they had thawed.  I take it you use the frozen ones in baking and not eating from a bowl.  Other than muffins, what sort of things do you bake..

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taking advantage of nice day today as...

...the next seven days calls for rain and the odd thunderstorms. I just walked the dog up to the post office - I was looking for a letter but alas nothing today. Something to look forward  to for tomorrow though. Then over to buy a ticket for lottery draw Wed night. This morning a I froze a basket of blueberries - one of two baskets bought fresh yesterday. And also with blueberries still in the fridge, I made a Crumble. Mike likes the rhubarb crumble so much, that I wondered what it would taste like if used same recipe but substituted blueberries for the rhubarb. In my opinion it is good but I only tried three pieces so don't know what the rest of the cake would be like. haha  Speaking of recipes, the other day in the grocery store I spoke with a lady ( stranger) about gardens and too much rain and mentioned I made my own ketchup. She was so interested she asked me to write down the recipe. So from memory, I scribbled it down. When I got home I checked my recipe and it was right except for one glaring error! I wrote 3 TBSP of dry mustard instead of 3 TSP. (I was thinking of the mustard pickles I had made last week that called for 3 TBSP)  I have no idea if she will actually try this recipe but if she does, I hope she likes her ketchup hot, hot, hot!! Next week is the week Harry volunteered my services for the Powassan Fall Fair.Apparently I will be the scribe for the Judge - I am to write everything down and ensure the right entry gets the right prize.I have to go Thursday Aug 28 to help set up the tables etc, then Friday to help judge, and then Sat for the Parade to help, and then Sunday to help with Cub Car races. Harry is a Parade marshall and will also help with Cub car.races. We are supposed to get a free meal for our efforts. I could think of others things to do with my time.  My friend Sue is going away to England for a trip in September but she wrote to book a date in Oct for our regular fall luncheon together. So I confirmed and we penciled in Oct 15 Wed. The date rang a bell with me for some reason, and when I checked my day book, sure enough, my annual dentist appointment is for 7:30 am that very day.  But I think I'll keep both as the dentist appt usually take max an hour, and if I need work they schedule another day, so my mouth won't be frozen. At least that's my plan....let you know haha. I also had your Sx date marked for that day as well Pati. So one busy day ....We dug all the potatoes yesterday and were lucky to get two 4 qt baskets of nice size potatoes. When I did the freezer in the morning I found a lovely standing rib roast so cooked that for supper. Nice meal all around!  Take care folks!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quiet weekend

We have been very quiet.  Friday we were both recovering from a very poor night's sleep, so, more or less veg'ed out in front of the tv. Ran a couple of errands in the afternoon and ended up at the casino for supper, as nobody wanted to cook.  Yesterday we were still half out of it, so did not much more than laundry, although I spent a fair bit of time catching up on work on the computer.  We had planned to try to attend three quilt shows in the Winnipeg Beach area, but decided to stay home in the air conditioning.  However, today we headed out and saw two of the shows, as the third one was over.  The first was in Matlock and was a very pleasant surprise.  Well organized, well presented, and a good range of work.  They also had a sale room, and planned to be serving a lunch ( at a price)a little later.  Next we went to  Ponehma(sp.).  This was in a small heritage building, that was on a bit of land along with a railway museum.  A  very small, traditional show.  But in a back section was a fabric sale involving an internet store that I had heard about.  The proprietor was one of the students when I taught machine quilting in Selkirk, and we had a nice chat.

There was another display that attracted us.  It is an organization that makes special gowns for babies who die in the hospital, especially those who die close to delivery or are still born.  They use donated wedding dresses to make very special gowns.  Quite lovely, and with lace and beads.  Donated bridesmaid dresses in more masculine colours are used in the gowns for little boys.  The makers keep track and take pictures of the gowns to send to the brides who have donated their dresses.  The gowns are distributed through the Pastoral Care departments at St. Boniface, where the only local NICU is.  Often the parents are in no way prepared either physically or emotionally, to consider burial clothing for their infant. Most parents are given their baby to hold, for a moment, and the gowns are used for this as well. I had heard of the program in the States, but never thought about there being one locally.  Of course, we made a donation.  We also made a donation to the small  Heritage Centre that housed the display.  They were actually raffling a small quilt, but we had no need for another quilt!

So I found some joy today, although not in the usual way.


Of course it came so hard and fast the the yard seems flooded, but once it sinks in it will be like nothing  happened at all.  But at least it is moisture.. I can already see he sun trying to break through, but right now the yard is flooded. (until it sinks in)  Thunder, but no lightening.  Jim says he will bbq in his rain suit, but I don't see him going outside yet :)  I really wanted a day long slow rain, but maybe tomorrow.  There are still dark clouds outside so maybe I will have a night long slow rain.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hot and dry

It's hard to believe that after a spring that saw so much rain that highways were being washed out we are now over dry and begging for rain.  Our "lawn" is dead, with the occasional alfalfa plant sticking up. The garden, as I said, was a complete failure.  I don't even want to plant one next year.  On the other hand Lynne and Dennis had the best garden they have ever had in their lives and with Lynne house sitting in Barbados since June, Dennis has been working his heart out trying to preserve the bumper crop.  When he gets sick of doing it he brings the extras to us.  We have been doctoring JJ this last week.  Two drops in each eye, three times a day.  She is not a happy girl, but her eye does seem to be clearing up.  The vet thought the infection might be systemic, so she also gets two antibiotics every day for three weeks.  That part she likes 'cause I coat the pills with cheese whiz.  Jim is looking at getting a 4 ton electric log splitter.  He wasn't sure about them, but he knows a couple of people now who have one and they say it works great.  He can buy it, but will he use it?  I can't believe it is already the middle of August.  Summer was so late in arriving and now it is almost gone.  Maybe the Gods will smile on us and summer will last for a few extra months.  Jim has crawled out of  bed, so I guess I have to go and be civil to him.  Oooops  He just stubbed his toe on the leg of my chair.  Now I really have to be nice.


Just tried an older waffle maker I had stored in the basement to see how it worked. Mike and Erin were asking if we had an extra machine so Erin could make waffles for Mike. I also wrote out my fail safe recipe for her.  Yesterday we went to Huntsville to the Habitat Restore to buy some three ring binders for Harry to store his coins. He bought some plastic covers that hold the two inch cardboards so needed more cheap binders.(I also had to clean off some shelves so that the binders could be stored upright and nicely). Anyway Mike called to say they were on their way down to Toronto for the weekend and were going to drop in to see us - so instead we met them at the Tim Horton's on the highway in Huntsville and had lunch and a very nice visit. This is when the subject of waffles came up.
Another rainy day greeted us this morning. Undaunted though Harry left early for his garage sale expedition. I have my own list of To Do here at home. I made an interesting batch of pickles the other day - called Thousand Island. Have you tried these? Look similar to mustard pickle but a different taste of spices etc. I did not use all the ingredients the recipe called for and yet I still like the flavour and texture. Helped to use up some of the many cucumbers accumulating. It is also time to make another batch of ketchup as the tomatoes are multiplying fast haha.
I found a little pattern book at Restore yesterday on sewing little bags , purses etc and some patterns using applique, and quilting blocks as fabric. I may never get at it, but much of my pleasure is in reading and imagining. I have always admired the bags and little purses you made Pati, and I have some similar ones I've bought along the way.
Well, no time to procrastinate I guess, so back to my To Do list and the day. How are things there? Take care

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is this summer?

High today is 10 degrees, overcast and drizzling. Where did our summer go? I actually had a hat, and coat on to take the dog down to the lake this morning. But I must say it was beautiful- misty, mysterious, still waters, very serene all by ourselves!!
I just put some swiss steak in the oven - I know it is a bit early in the day but there are other kitchens things to do today so knew I may not get at the meat in time.
Yesterday I attacked the back room - mostly to find some of my sewing notions for the Owl, but also because it was getting out of control haha! It doesn't look much different actually but at least I know where things are.
I can hardly wait to see you n your new glasses Pati - sound wonderful. Harry has still not got his second pair and it is into the third week waiting. The store did call him though to say the lens was a special order and the man was on holidays. maybe Friday or next week?
Well, on with the day. Take care.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Not quite the day we planned

We finally got the board covered after two layers of paint and switching to duct tape.  Then David went out to mail a letter, and to drop by the optometrist to try to get me an appointment. Over the past month my vision has been getting worse and I finally accepted the need to get glasses and rule out any serious problems.  The response was " How soon can she get here?"  So he rushed home to pick me up and off we went.  No serious problems, although soon I may have to have my lens implant cleaned by laser ( Say what!?)  But yes, I need glasses.  So we ordered those, and while they weren't cheap, they were less than I expected, and now I'm old enough for the gov't rebate for seniors.  They tried to sell me on progressive lenses but I wasn't having any of that!  Been there.  Didn't like it and can't afford it.

After dropping me off, David went to talk to a local renovation company about taking a look at our bathroom.  The toilet has been leaking ever since we had the floors done about 10 years ago.  The toilet has been re-installed twice without solving the problem and now the floor covering has a huge stain.  We have a pretty good hunch the sub-floor has been damaged and will need repair, as well.  Yesterday David had been into Home Depot to talk to them about it and was quickly told that they would consider it the renovation of a half bath and wouldn't talk to us for under $5000.  We just want to replace the floor!!  The company today spent a little more time, and will send out an estimator on Friday.  But they explained that, if they have to touch the sub-floor, it will mean complete renovation, including a total gut of the room.  Ka-chi-n-n-n-ing!

But, it may be partially covered by insurance.  While this sounds good at first, we have already had one claim this year when we had the basement flood.  A small claim, at the time, but a claim none-the-less. Even if we don't lose the insurance, it will still be much more expensive in future.

Needless to say, I'm a bit stunned at this point.  We are looking to the future, and accepting that we will have to sell the house, probably sooner rather than later, as we age.  There are a couple of updates needed if we are to get a decent price for it, but we were anticipating those in the long term, not today.  The bathroom was at the bottom of the list.  What's that old saying--"Man plans, God laughs"

So where is the joy in today?  I'm grateful that I don't have glaucoma.  And a little giddy at the thought of blue glass frames with silver trim.

"Joy" is bliss...

So excited to see your little "Joy". I have printed the pattern after great effort to discover how  but apparently the instructions are not printable?  So I have started to copy them onto a piece of paper. I found my felt box and have a few scraps that I can use. So....I shall keep your informed as to my progress in creating my own little companion haha
Trip yesterday to Midland was uneventful - rain storm going down but clear coming back. Harry bought two dozen fresh corn cobs so today I shall freeze some kernels (want to take kernels off the cobs - easier to use this way). There are some frozen cobs still in the freezer from last year so I will toss them- this is good as it will make more room to other freezing. I tasted the tomato ketchup I made the other day when under the weather,  and for some reason it is the best I've made so far. I wonder if I could replicate it with next batch to make it as good, but without having to be sick?????
Calling for rain all week and this doesn't make me feel to happy. Last night they had warning for severe rain and thunderstorms but fortunately did not materialize as predicted -only rained some requiring a few pumping efforts but not bad.
Time to start the day. Take care

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

sounds like a bad weekend all around

Nothing is worse than feeling rotten and still having to be up and at it.  You, more than most, deserves a rest once in awhile.  Try to take it as easy as you can, Beth.

My weekend wasn't much better.  For the past couple of weeks my back has been bothering me, but Thursday night/Friday was like nothing I've ever dealt with before.  I couldn't lay down.  After several hours of trying everything I could think of, I took T3 and was able to sleep for a couple of hours.  The episode has slowly been wearing off since yesterday morning.

This whole thing brought about a bit of an epiphany.  We have focused for so long ( over a year) on the surgery on my left knee, but, while this may improve my mobility a bit, it isn't really going to solve my problems or change my life dramatically.  I spent most of the weekend "navel gazing" and thinking about this.  I've decided to stop worrying about the future, and, taking a leaf from your book, Beth, live one day at a time, finding what joy I can within that day, and the people who touch my life. 

As is my habit, when making a life change, I had to find a ritual,to mark a transition into the new.  I went to the internet and found the pattern for that little owl, that we talked about last week.  I finished her yesterday and named her Joy, as my search will be for "joy", from now on.  So, now we are verbally stating a purpose or goal for everyday, and what we do outside of that goal will be an active choice, and not a "this must get done"  because of some outside influence. Obviously, this had to be a mutual agreement, between the two of us.  It worked well yesterday, using a stated mutual goal of taking a load to the thrift store.  Today we plan to cover a large piece of pressboard with construction plastic, so that I can use it as a work surface in the studio.

And here is my little "Joy".  Pattern available on request.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not quite the weekend I expected....

We went to the Sunflower Festival in the morning on Saturday but it was not too interesting- walked up and down the vendors, and spoke to the MP, and then headed to the Magnetawan Farmers Market. By this time I was starting to feel a little under the weather but nothing serious. I watched two episodes of The Quilt Show at night before bed but by Sunday morning, I was for sure stricken with "flu" I had to make a batch of ketchup with the tomatoes that were piling up so struggled through that process with frequent trips to the bathroom haha The pan went into the oven at 10 am and I went to bed! I got up every hour or so to stir down the sauce as it thickened in the pan. By 4 pm I had had enough so bottled it up as is, did the dishes and went back to bed. This morning I was feeling a bit better. Don't know what or how it hit me, but whatever it was came and went!  Maybe good for a few lost pounds????
Tomorrow we head for Midland again with another load. Hope it will be a quick trip ( if a 2  1/2 hour drive one way can be quick) Still not back to my perky self yet so I have had a bath and will be heading for bed again right away. How are you folks/
Take care

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday is upon us and all is well..

Looking forward to the weekend. it is the annual Sundridge Sunflower Festival,  We may attend the Firefighters Pancake Breakfast Sat morning and then down to Main Street for over 60 Vendors along the street set up. Lots of water activities at the lake, and then Sunday, the big Triathalon occurs. this event draws people from across the province.
Today we are going to buy more blueberries and will dehydrate them. The owner of the gardens suggested this when Harry said he wanted to freeze some. They have dehydrated and say they are great that way - just throw on cereal in morning or bake with them..When you think about it, cranberries and raisins etc are done this way and just as popular !
The garden requires our attention badly, For awhile it was dormant with rain and cold but now is productive and needs to be cared for - picking dead leaves and watering and weeding. yesterday I bought four bags of cow manure for Harry to prepare the garlic beds for planting in fall. that is what we will also use the bales of straw for - we picked all the garlic last week and have it drying in the shed right now.
Pati your comments about the Not Afraid Of Colour blog hit home. I, too, felt a sort of "kinship" when I first starting to read and now for sure think her words and work are quite meaningful for me. I enjoy logging on to see what she has written or done - Thanks again for the prompt. And there this morning was her latest- a cute little felt owl.
Well, time for my morning coffee and get ready for the day and weekend. Hope you folks have plans and so enjoy your time!
Take care.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Checking my blogs

Everything in the studio is finished except the tidying up, of course.  So after a short ( very short) nap I checked my blogs.  There was an entry on " Not Afraid of Color" that made me think of the work you have been doing in your garden, Beth.  She sounds like someone who thinks a bit like you.

Frustrating week

I have been putting together several pieces for my friend, Carolyn.  One in particular has proven troublesome.  I now have it to the stage of a bit of hand finishing, but have devoted the last four+ days to it.  But it will be done today, and I have made arrangements to deliver it tomorrow afternoon.  I am dropping it off with the friend she will be staying with overnight on her way back to Montreal.  This friend is also an acquaintance of mine.  When I called to arrange to go over, she invited me to stay for tea, and I thought why not?  I had spent some time on the phone with my friend, Shirley earlier, and we had talked about the philosophy that a door is never closed without a window being opened, and how you have to be able to recognize opportunity when it is presented, because it is often disguised.  Shirley has had many challenges in her life, and has worked hard to overcome them, but now is living a life where she is content.  I admire her for that, although she sometimes makes me a little crazy.  Anyway, to come full circle, I think that maybe the lady I will be having tea with tomorrow could have been more of a friend, had I been open to the opportunity.

But the work I've been doing has caused quite a bit of stress and a few tears.  I'm very glad it is done.  There are a couple of flaws, but I'm ignoring them, and hope that they won't be noticed.

On Monday, our next door neighbour had some very expensive new windows installed, and of course, David had to help him supervise.  The neighbour has a new bird feed this year and the subject of squirrels came up. ( Two of this years red squirrels were playing in our Elm tree) I think I have mentioned this neighbour, and his fear and loathing of squirrels before. He is convinced that they will get into his house, and asked David if he should poison them.  We enjoy watching the squirrels play in our yard, and especially enjoy the young ones learning their way.  I think David dissuaded him.  I certainly hope so.

There is a surprising amount of wildlife even here in the city.  When talking to Shirley, she told me that she had been standing on her balcony ( third floor) when two  of Mississippi Kites flew by.  These are very rare here, and the bird watching community has been very excited to discover a nesting pair in River Heights.  It has been written up in the paper etc.  When Shirley spoke to the local bird "guru, she was told that there is more than one pair around, and her spotting was legitimate.  I think that things like this say as much for climate change as anything else going on.

So I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in the studio.  The downside to this is that I will now have to do all of the housework I've been neglecting over the past week.   BLa-a-a-a-h!

Neighbours leaving...

The next door neighbours who live n Holland will be leaving today to return to their home there. They are both still working and were here since end of June on vacation. They love it here and can hardly wait until they can return for good ( 3 to 4 years). But will be back again next summer for vacation. In meantime her sister across the street cares for their house while they are gone. It was nice to see and hear people next door. They bought a BBQ and tried it out several times. I guess they loved that and wonder if they didn't have one in Holland? We gave them several bags of ripe tomatoes, and parsley and garlic. She handed me a little ornament the other day of two small wooden shoes tied to a string the colours for Holland - red, white and blue. Today is a bit dull, but still nice to work outside. I was just cleaning up a bit in the kitchen before heading out- the table is covered with baskets of tomatoes - want any? We finished the construction of the arch in the back and now have created quite a special sitting area. I ate my breakfast and supped on my coffee there this morning. I went up to the bank yesterday afternoon, and surprised to run into on my way not one but three different people I knew and all wanting to talk. Usually I never see anyone!
Well time to get busy! How are things your way? Take care.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Another silly little thing....

I started a small fire last night after supper and made some S'mores just for me. Harry declined my offer.
I had marshmallows, and graham crackers on hand but no piece of chocolate (shame on me!) so used a chocolate sauce in the jar . It worked OK. I smeared the crackers with sauce and then placed a burnt marshmallow in between. Yummie haha  I even had a splash of white wine to wash them down. Pure pleasure !
Now on with the day for today! It is drizzling a bit but Harry has an arch to finish with my help (the pieces bought at garage sale). We cemented the bottoms into the ground yesterday and will finish it up today. I don't expect the wet to continue for long so likely be another nice day.
Best wishes to Jim - Happy Birthday old boy.....
Take care

Saturday, August 2, 2014

And here I am, late Saturday morning

We have no plans for the long weekend.  Jim's birthday is Monday and he is trying to decide what he wants for supper that night.  That is our only dilemma right now.  Our garden was a complete failure, except for the Saskatoons.  It is our worst year ever.  I am seriously thinking of maybe moving the garden to another location next year, except that would mean starting over from scratch.  Jim thinks maybe we should load it up with fertilizer this fall and see what happens next year.  It is so disheartening to work so hard for no results. Jim offered to come back to work for 3 months, until Patty returns from Mat leave, but the powers that be decided to hire a student for 3 weeks and then worry about it.  We were all hoping they would hire Jim, cause we wouldn't have to train him on everything.  At least the student will only be expected to be a body in the office and do odd jobs for us.  Greg is coming out from Portage for 3 days next week.  He can do everything in the office, including accepting documents (which I am not permitted to do)  I think I will ask him to work on the plans that I have gathering in the vault.  everyday I try to get to one but all the other work has to be done and before I know it the day is over.We went to meat draw last night and there were very few people there (summer long weekend)  We bought more tickets that usual and still came away with nothing.  One man at our table won 3 times!  My big plans for today are to put the last of the Saskatoons into freezer bags. I freeze them on cookie sheets.  Then maybe I will clean the bathroom (be still my beating heart) At least I have 3 whole days before me with nothing that I have to do.  Sounds good to me.  Hope you have a relaxing weekend too

Here I am early Sat morn

There is a wash on, a coffee by my side, and a list of TO DO for today started. Harry has left for his garage sale journey, so I shall write a few words before I get started. Apparently the Lotto Max people made an error in not posting the winning numbers that were congruent with my ticket numbers - should I complain?
There are four bowls of ripe or ripening tomatoes on the counter - they are the small ones but nevertheless need some attention. Not enough to make ketchup, or even juice so I shall have to decide what to do.
Yesterday Harry decided he wanted to drive to Mattawa - about 60 km East of North Bay to see a Flea Market set up. It turned out not to be great but we drove into Mattawa and had a brunch (breakfast special) at a restaurant we had tried many years ago located at the marina on the Ottawa River.But it is picturesque area so a nice drive. Back to North Bay and to Sears to buy a pair of hiking boots for Willie. We had been looking for a pair (Birthday gift) but he hadn't found a good pair at a reasonable price. The day before he called from Sears to say they had a pair on sale and if he had them held over and put away on hold  for another day they would be 40% off. When I went in to get them the lady said if I used my Sears card they would be 50%off. So a $150.00 pair of boots cost me only $50.00 in the end with the discounts applied- Bonus! Harry only had one of his two pairs of glasses on order at the Store to pick up - 10 days after the order went in. So we got the one but with promise that Tuesday the other pair should be in. Means another trip up on Tuesday. The garden is starting to look neglected. The weather has been so cold and wet that things are growing but also starting to yellow and brown up. i need to cut the grass badly, but again has been too wet. Perhaps with forecast weather improved over weekend I can get out there and do some cleanup? In meantime, I have been trying to go through some craft/sewing notions to sort out into keep or chuck piles. The keep pile seems to be bigger than the throw out pile. Somehow can't force myself to do the chucking always thinking that maybe some day I might use it?? Pati, I admire you for making the tough decisions in your sorting out haha
Anyway, I guess I have procrastinated long enough - time to get at the day. Hope you folks have nice long weekend - what are your plans? Take care

Friday, August 1, 2014

What a thrill

To open the blog and see your two faces together - smiling at me!! Only thing missing ( besides something to drink in the glasses you hold) was me sitting beside you on the church pew!!
I am so happy you had a nice visit.  We had a busy day today, and since I am worn out, I shall say goodnight for now, and continue writing more in the morning. By then I will have won  the $10 million Lotto Max draw for tonight haha
Take care