I am a British born, living in Canada. Moved to the countryside in 2009 to a 1909 stone farmhouse. In 2014 we are going to embark on a new adventure with our home ownership.

Life is never ever dull around here and I always have a tale to tell!!

Chipmunk

Looking for some nuts...

Our Farm House

Time for Tea...

Toasty warm in front of the fire!

Martin House

Will anyone be moving in soon?

Our Molly Moo

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today's Flower

I am fortunate to have inherited a beautiful Lilac Bush in the new house. I just love Lilac bushes, as much for their fragrance than anything else. I will have to pick a bunch of the flowers to bring into the house.




For more of Today's Flowers, please click on this link

Time does fly by when you're having fun!!!

Can you believe we have lived in this house now for just over a month? We moved in on May 1st, though actually took possession of the house on April 28th. Now as we live here day in day out, we don't notice things like others do. We had our dear neighbours from our old house up for supper yesterday and "R" had popped up on Mother's Day to give me a bunch of flowers, so she had been before albeit for 15 minutes at the most.

Anyhow, she was saying what a huge difference the way the place was looking to what it looked like back on May 10th. So that was actually quite encouraging, as it makes it worth while all the hard work we have put into the house so far.

It was great to have them over, as one it was lovely to see them and catch up with them. Two, "M" did get on the lawn tractor and cut some of the grass for an hour or so!! Three, they went to Paris for the long weekend two weeks ago, so I saw all their photos from there. "M" proposed again to "R" and gave her a gorgeous ring under the Eiffel Tower, romantic or what? By the way they are already married, just thought he would do it again. Dh got the evil eye when they were telling me that....LOL So dh said he had already got me a present, the LAWN TRACTOR.......gosh I am married to the most romantic person in the world, aren't I?

The hotel room they stayed in had a lovely canopied bed, and he had a dozen blood red roses delivered for "R". They are such a great couple, no kids yet, but not for the lack of me whining on to them to have kids, so that we can spoil them!! (If dd is reading this, be grateful that I am not whining on at you to have kids!!) In dd case, I am always harping on at her and "B" about when they are going to get married, I think they have just celebrated their 9th or 10th anniversary of being together!!

I am writing this Sunday morning, so my plan of action is to spend the day in the garden. I made a start yesterday on digging out some more of the veggie plot, but didn't get much done, so will have another go today. Plus more of the grass needs to be cut, no shock there, plus a hundred and one of jobs. Dh made a start on trimming the edges of the property with the brush cutter, as it is so long and thick. He is hurting badly at the moment. He went and hurt his shoulder when moving and he is still in agony with it, making it difficult to do most things. So I don't want him doing anything that involves lifting things above his head at the moment, so cutting the edges is actually a good job, as the machine has a shoulder strap on it, so its not heavy.

Well that's enough rambling on for one day!!!

****UPDATE ON THE LAUNDRY SINK, THE BAKING SODA, VINEGAR AND BOILING WATER WORKED, IT IS NOW UNBLOCKED.....FINALLY SOMETHING HAS WORKED****

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Country time - City time

I touched upon this the other day. These guys around here work on their own time frame, which turns out to be completely different to mine!!!

I finally got an answer about the fireplace, now granted there had been a family emergency, so that should be a go next week. I negotiated a 5% discount which I thought was fair, and it is money in my pocket!!

The roofing guys didn't show, they're coming on Monday, how did I know this, I had to call "K" to see what was going on!!! Not sure how long it is going to take to train "K" to make sure he calls me to keep me in the loop with these tradesmen!!!

I am also going through a period of where everything I touch I break. It is so frustrating its awful. Poor dh I think dreads coming home, as he has no idea what he has to mend this time. I managed to get a bolt tangled up in the lawn mower, I was so lucky I didn't ruin it. I screwed up the computer royally yesterday; still not sure its alright.

We have an old stone double sink in the basement, and my washer drains into that and then the water goes into a pump and its pumps it out to the septic. Well it was icky, so I clean it. Well that turns out to be the worse thing I could do, as I bunged up the sinks. Couldn't find the plungers, dh found them, and I have got the water draining away, very, very slowly. Does anyone have any suggestions on a drain cleaner, that won't harm the septic??


Finally it has been raining these past few days, so of course the grass is growing like crazy, so did get to cut a bit of it last night between the showers. We have friends coming over today, so sort of hoping "M" might like to be a gentleman farmer for a day and want to have a go on the lawn tractor...LOL

Have a good Saturday and Sunday, as my main computer is still playing up.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Buddy Friday - Being Organized.........

I try to be organized, really I do, but I must say some days I feel like the most unorganized person out there. I think when you put other people into the equation that is when choas happens.

For instance in the front entrance hall of our old house we had a green rug. Now granted it was 10 + years old, but it did the job. The movers moved it out of the way to put down their runners, and that is the last I have seen of it. I have hunted high and low for this rug, as it would have been okay for the mud room. I ended up buying a washable rug from Zellars with 40% off, as I just can't find it. And you it's always the case that when you buy something to replace the thing you can't find, the original thing turns up......well in this case it hasn't!

Another thing we have been looking for is a door sweep that goes on the bottom of your entrance doors. I had bought two for the old house, and had used one. Well dh packed it, and we have been searching for it for a couple of weeks now. We knew it either had to be in the garage or the new basement. It turns out he must have put it in the old basement as that is where he found it. Pleased to say due to him finding it, it saved us $20.

When hiring tradesmen, getting them to do a few jobs at once saves you money, as then they don't have to make numerous trips back and forth. We called into our favourite Home Hardware store last night and stumbled upon "K" got talking to him and mentioned another job that needs to be done on the roof. Didn't know if the roof guy could do it today or when we had stripped the attic. Turns out he can do it today, as per "K," so it's not costing us as much as we thought it would. By the way, the roof is that steep that no one, including me wants to tackle any jobs on the roof, even "K" said he wouldn't get up there!!

Sorry, not a very inspiring post for today or for Buddy Friday. For more posts that will probably inspire you more, pop over to Margarets Ramblings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Skywatch Friday......

These photos were taken on Tuesday night (26th.) We were forecast for rain for a couple of days and these were the clouds rolling in. I loved the way there seems to be layer upon layer of thick clouds. I am sure there is a name for these?


For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on this link

Odds and Ends.......

Well on Wednesday it rained all day, and you know what it was nice. It made a change not having to go outside in the garden. I was able to get on with a couple of jobs inside of the house. One job I managed to get done was strip some of the ceiling lights and give them a good clean and get rid of all the dead flies.

One of the fixtures I cleaned was the ceiling fan in the kitchen. And what a surprise I got I thought the light shades were brown..........after washing them they are white sand blasted glass!!! Yes, that is how dirty they were. Now dh is going to take it all to bits and take the whole thing down for me to give it a super good clean, but hasn't had time. So I gave it the best clean I could. It's a really nice fan, though the guy has installed it incorrectly and as I told dh, we cannot have the fan on, until dh has installed it properly. Here is a couple of photos of the fan.




Now above the two front window's and the above the front door is the original glass that was probably installed in the house when it was built. I washed the glass today and the glass in the kitchen area was black. I have no idea how anyone could let anything get so dirty? The walls by the way in the kitchen/dining room are not pink, but a dirty white, it was just the way I took the photo.



We seem to have one resident red squirrel in our yard. No idea if he/she lives on their own, or it has a little family in the woods. Anyhow I was watching it go across the lawn, and the starlings were attacking it. No idea why they were doing that, do you have any idea? All the birds were wandering around the yard today, they obviously like the wet weather? I have located a few nests around the property including a robins nest, not too far from the patio doors. I will have to take some photos of it.

I had a couple of "whatever" moments again on Wednesday. We had gas heating at our last house, so I knew I would have a bill for the last reading from the gas company. Anyhow, it hadn't arrived, so I called them to see what's what, and they said it was mailed on May 8th. I obviously hadn't received it, and said so, so the lady said she would mail me a duplicate and by the way, it's due on the 28th of May! So I say, that's all well and good but I don't have the bill so how can I pay it. Anyhow, to cut a long story short, she told me the amount that was due and after that I will have to pay a late charge fee. I told her no way was I paying a late charge fee, and to make a note of that on my account. She said she had done that, we'll see. I felt I was being a good customer in enquiring where my bill was, and all they want to do is charge me an extra fee!

Called Sears about my dripping water dispenser, and the guy was as puzzled as I was, as to what I should do. Sent a note to whom ever and they are supposed to call me......I'll believe that when it happens!!

Called Health Canada about my lack of address and the guy told me they often have this problem with new sub divisions. So I told him the house has been here since 1907, and it isn's a new sub division. He told me to fax my change of info over for me and dh. So dh faxing it at work today.

Haven't heard from either the roofing guy or the fireplace guy, so not sure what's going on there. I do believe they run on country time, not city time.........but I am only guessing on that?

I had to use the dryer today to dry some laundry, and would you believe it, it actually worked!!!! Its not an ideal situation though as the dryer is not vented outside, its just has its pipe in the old basement with a sock over the end.

The ants are back, well a couple of them, so I squirted powder on some cracks in the caulking on the window sill, I need to redo the caulking. I swear though I and wiping down the counter tops a couple of times a day and making sure there is no food left out, so not sure what to say.

So there you go a bit of this and a bit of that!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

50 + 1 Recipes for Cucumbers

A dear friend asked if I would do a recipe thread for Cucumbers, I didn't realize I had missed Cucumbers when I did the veggie recipes. I rarely buy the field cucumbers (ones with the thicker skins), I always buy the English cucumbers, the ones with the thinner skins, and seeds you can eat. Interested myself to see what you can make with cucumbers.

1. Award Winning Cucumber Salad

2. Chilled Cucumber Soup

3. Chilled Cucumber-Yogurt Soup with Radishes

4. Chunky Cucumber Dill Dressing

5. Cold Cucumbers

6. Cream Cheese Stuffed Cucumbers

7. Cream Cheese Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

8. Crab and Cucumber Rolls

9. Corn and Cucumbers

10. Come and Get It

11. Cool Cucumber Pasta

12. Cool Cucumber Rice

13. Cool Cucumber Sandwich

14. Country Style Cucumbers

15. Cream of Cucumber Soup

16. Cucumber Salad

17. Aunt Florrie's Bread and Butter Pickles

18. Asian Cucumber and Pork Bundles

19. Chicken and Tzatziki in Pita Pockets

20. Chicken Bulgur Salad

21. Cool As A Cucumber Dip

22. Cucumber Sour Cream Mousse

23. Cucumber Vichyssoise

24. Cucumber, Couscous and Bean Salad

25. Garden-Fresh Cucumber Risotto

26. Ham-Filled Cucumber Cups

27. Mixed Vegetable Salad

28. Thai Beef Noodle Salad

29. Cucumber Layered Salad

30. Tart-Sweet Cucumber Pickles

31. Cold Shrimp and Cucumber Soup

32. Cucumber, Radish and Melon Salad

33. Cucumber Feta Salad

34. Cucumber Chutney

35. Tomato-Cucumber Raita

36. Cool Cucumber Salad

37. Baked Trout with Cucumber Sauce

38. Cucumber Tomato Salad with Bocconcini

39. ENGLISH CUCUMBER SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

40. Cucumber and Tomato Salad

41. Dill-Cucumber Dip - a Weight Watchers Recipe

42. Zucchini, Red Pepper and Cucumber Salsa

43. Kheere Ka Raita (Yogurt With Cucumber & Mint)

44. Cucumber Lemon Risotto

45. Cucumber Pilaf with Almonds

46. Stuffed Cucumber Bites

47. Asian Cucumber Salad

48. Chunky Greek Salad Bowl

49. Cucumber Buttermilk Salad Dressing

50. Cucumber Wild Rice Salad

51. Curried Chicken Salad in Cucumber Cups

Now this is my last posting for the 50 + 1 recipe thread, unless someone has a request? I feel I have covered most of the popular fruits and veggies.

I had my first encounter with a snake!!!

First let me say I am terrified of snakes. When we go to the zoo, I like to go to the reptile area, just to make sure the snakes and spiders are all locked up!!! So on Wednesday I was cutting the field AGAIN, and there it was slithering in the grass and I am guessing it must have been fifty feet long.........okay maybe two feet if that, but in my minds eye it looked like fifty feet long!!! I let out a squeal, and put my foot on the gas on the lawn tractor and got the heck out of there!!!! It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

I was frozen today cutting the grass, as the wind was really nippy. I had to put my coat on with my hood up and had to find a pair of mitts to wear. Which is strange as I am "hot flash Annie," but it truly was cool out. Now Kamikaze Hill is still to cut, but that will have to wait until the weekend, when dh has time, as it's going to rain for the next three days, so no doubt the bloody grass will all be ready to cut again by the weekend!

Oh, remember we bought the new fridge/freezer with the ice and water? Well since dh hooked up the water, it has had a drip at the water dispenser. So Sears came in today to fix it. The guy put a new valve in it, and said as we are on well water with low pressure, that these fridges sometimes do drip and there is nothing I can do about it. So sure enough its back to dripping again. So I am going to get back on the phone to Sears to see if they can figure out something else, as I have to put a cup under the drip to catch the water.

Got a quote today for the fireplace insert, $3,861.90 Yes I did have a shocked expression on my face, and asked them to see if they could do a better price. I haven't heard back from them yet!! I was hoping to pay around $3,500, taxes included, but as I have chosen a brushed nickel trim, and they are having to does some cutting inside of the fireplace, that has bumped the price up........Add to that at least $900 for three bush cords of wood, and that's another $5,000 spent there...........I really do need to find that ruddy money tree and soon!!

As I was cutting the grass, I noticed a white car in the driveway and so went over on the tractor to see who it was. It was a guy who worked for a company that takes aerial photos of your property, and they had taken a shot last September and did we want to buy it. I said no, but must say it was pretty neat to look at the photo. They do this every five or six years, so maybe next time they do it, I will buy one..........as hopefully by then we will have found that money tree!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Watery Wednesday......

These photos were taken in the same place as last weeks photos, down the back road I travel to, to go to the nearest city. They actually reminded me of the swamps in South Carolina, where the trees are standing in water.


For more Watery Wednesday photos, please click on this link

And today's problems are (yes there are multiple ones!!)

got up on Monday to find ants on my countertop, finally tracked down where they were coming from, behind a socket/plug??? So took the cover off and squirted some ant powder in there, and managed not to electrocute myself at the same time. Have a horrible feeling the sneaky little beggars will be back.......

Went online to Health Canada to change my address for my health card, and found that our address doesn't exist. So I send them an email asking them what I should do? It will be interesting to see if they ever reply!! Also it felt a bit like I been there and done that with the address problems.

Then finally the guy came to look at the roof, to see what's what, and now tells me there is no flashing between the extension roof and the house.......after sighing, I said those famous words, "give me a quote, and I'll talk to my husband." I also told the guy that I have yet to find the money tree at this house!!!

Can someone PLEASE tell me that all these problems will end one day???

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm a country girl now!!!

I started my first fire in the fire pit on Sunday, and we didn't have to call out the fire department!!!

I read the instructions on the fire permit before I started the fire. I called the fire department to let them know I was starting a fire, and gave them my permit number (all this was left on the answering machine, as its a volunteer fire department.)

I made sure I had a hose by the fire and a bucket of water, as back up, and I supervised the fire while it was going. Now granted I smoked the area out, but it was no worse than when I barbecue......LOL However I think it was a great success, and we also burned some wood that we had on the rubbish pile, so that is a little less now. Plus dh has got permission to take some of the wood to work, so our rubbish pile is going down.

After supper I went and threw water on what was left to make sure there wasn't anything left burning.

In the afternoon I planted my three fruit trees, and used all the compost I got yesterday to part fill the holes. So at least they are going to have a good start. I then tackled the lawn AGAIN!!! It seems to not be taking as long to cut this time. I am hoping to get the remainder done today (Monday).

Dh got the mud room door finished and it looks good. So all in all it was a good day. HOWEVER, we found a mushroom growing in the mud room, which is NOT good, so not sure what's going on there. I put bleach on the area, but not sure what else to do?? Any suggestions would be appreciated?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Today's Flower

No idea what this shrub is, but the flower has a beautiful fragrance. However there are moth "nests" all over it, and it is being eaten by them, so I need to get a blow torch out and torch the webs.




For more of Today's Flower, please click on this link

Another Anniversary and "Free Black Gold"

20 years ago we emigrated to Canada. I have to say those 20 years have flown by and on the whole it's been a good 20 years. Have we any regrets about moving here, no this is home. We miss family and friends, but the opportunities that Canada has presented us are priceless.

On Saturday our local "town offices," had a free compost day, or "Black Gold." It was the strangest thing though, when we got there, there was a pile of compost, but not a soul about??? So as I had taken two blue recycling boxes and a garbage bin, I filled all three up with the compost. I mean if we had, had a trailer we could have filled it. If we had been in our old city, we would have been "supervised," and we would have only been allowed the one box, and if we hadn't have gone at the crack of dawn we wouldn't have been able to get any at all.



One of the joys of living in a small town.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday was a bit of a blah day........

Not sure what happened, but I ended up hurting my other shoulder on Thursday so when I got up on Friday I felt rotten. Not only that, but Wednesday and Thursday were pretty hot days, and on Thursday I remembered to put on my hat when I was gardening, but totally forgot to put sunscreen on and have burned my shoulders.

My dad popped over on Friday to do a couple of jobs for us. We have a deck on the side and the back of the house. The only way on and off the deck is through the patio doors in the family room? There were no steps on this deck, so my dad built some steps so when we get the new windows and doors in there, they don't have to keep walking through the family room.

Then my dad showed me how to plant potatoes.

I have to say I was disappointed as I only got four rows of potatoes planted in the area I had dug out. Still my dad reckons we should have enough potatoes there for around 3 months which is better than nothing.

I made a couple of quiches in the morning, as I had a few things that wanted using up in the fridge. I gave one to my dad to take home for his supper.

With the leftover pastry I made a rhubarb pie, as I still have a lot of rhubarb to pick.


We had a guy come over to give us a quote on putting in a wood burning insert into our fireplace. I should have the quote by Tuesday at the latest. We are looking at this model, the Kodiak 1700 with a brushed nickel trim. He was saying that we should order 3 bush cords of wood. How much do you pay for a bush cord of wood? I was told it is cheapest to buy it this time of year. Oh and for those of you who don't know what a bush cord of wood is (ME!!) click on this link.

Will say though, as the day progressed my shoulder got a little better. I think I need to rest it up for a couple of days, and lay off the heavy gardening. I guess I should just get back to mowing the lawn, as that doesn't use my shoulder!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Buddy Friday - My new best friend and fruits of my labours.....

Here is a photo of my new best friend::

As you can see she is a bit battered and worn around the edges, but I couldn't live without her at the moment. We have had her for a long while now, and I have to admit prior to us coming to live here I hardly had anything to do with her. Now she is by my side on a daily basis!!

I picked some more rhubarb today as it is growing like crazy.

I decided to make a couple of Rhubarb loaves, using this recipe.

I had four cups of chopped rhubarb left over, so have put them in freezer bags and will enjoy them at a later date when rhubarb season is over. I remember my Nana giving me chopped up rhubarb and us dipping it in sugar when we were little. Haven't done that in a long time, should give it a try again.

For more Buddy Friday posts, pop by Margaret's Ramblings

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Skywatch Friday......

Another breezy day here, with perfect blue skies. Both photos were taken at the front of the house at 12:30pm today.




For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on this link

"Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday Sun,"

Well Wednesday was the hottest day of the year so far, with temps in the mid the high 20's. So I was curious as to how I would survive without central air. The house stayed nice and cool all day and I was really comfortable. We figured it must be okay, as there has never been central air in the house. Now there wasn't any humidity so that was a help. Lets see how I like living without central air in July and August!!

What's that expression, "Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid day sun." So of course from 12:30pm until 2pm I was out in the garden. I made a start on digging my veggie patch, by hand!! I managed to get this little bit done.

Now one of the problems is that there are so many thistles and dandelions, that it has to be done by hand. Look at the photo below if you don't believe me!!!


I also spent 1 1/2 hours on Wednesday night weeding and clearing out this flower bed. I am maybe half way done, and I had a full wheelbarrow full of lily of the valley and weeds. The whole bed is overgrown with the lily of the valley that it is smothering all the rest of plants in the bed. If you look in the background you will see another two overgrown flower beds that I have to sort out.

Finally I thought I'd take a photo of the main area of raspberry plants, which are also overgrown. I just haven't had time yet to make a start on weeding those. I have a couple of friends coming over at the end of the month, I am hoping they may volunteer to help me start to weed them!!! I will feed them...... Also to the left of the photo you can see the firepit where I have piled all the sticks and the weeds, I'm hoping to have a fire on Friday, if its not windy.

Oh and the lawn tractor has a leaky valve, so the tire keeps going down so I can't use it.....drat!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Been to the "big" city twice today!!!

Now by big city I mean a population of 27,000, however it is the biggest city closest to where I live. The reason I had to go there was to pick up the new Emergency Number sign I had ordered. Our old one you can't read half the numbers on it.



We have to have one of these at the end of the driveway in the country, so the emergency services can locate us in an emergency. I was wondering is this something that everyone has who lives in the country, regardless of which country (i.e. States, Australia, etc) you live in, have?

One of the things I bought today was a hummingbird feeder, as I know we have hummingbirds around here.



Now where is the best place to locate a hummingbird feeder?

I also went across the way and introduced myself to the neighbours, which as resulted in us getting our driveway scraped after the next rain, and in exchange me giving him some raspberry bushes!!

"K" came by to measure up for the new windows and patio doors, and he took our old mud room door away as it was steel, so I made another contribution to his beer fund!!

Went back to the "big city" tonight (Tuesday) so we could return some stuff and I picked up another apple tree, as Carol rightly pointed out to me, I need two for cross pollination. I got a Gala one this time, as I love those apples.

I also managed to give upstairs a good clean and strip down the light fixture in the spare bedroom and dispose of the dead fly graveyard that was residing in there!! I didn't manage to get out in the garden today though.

Oh and I never thought I would whine about this..........but here goes, I swear it was too windy today to hang out the washing!!! I used multiple pegs, and they hardly held at all. Mind you it was all dry within the hour, and that included the big bath towels, so that was an upside. Told you it was an unusual whine!!

50 + 1 Recipes for Cranberries

When I think of cranberries I always think of cranberry jelly with the turkey, and muffins. Otherwise I have no idea what to do with cranberries, so this should be interesting.

1. BEEF EMPANADAS WITH CRANBERRIES

2. CRANBERRY BRIE APPETIZER BITES

3. CRANBERRY BRUSCHETTA

4. ULTIMATE PARTY MEATBALLS

5. CRANBERRY, CRAB MEAT AND CREAM CHEESE APPETIZERS

6. CRANBERRY BANANA BREAD

7. CRANBERRY APPLE WHEEL

8. CITRUS BURST MUFFINS

9. CHEERY CHERRY MUFFINS

10. CRANBERRIED LEMON YOGURT BREAD

11. CRANBERRY CHUTNEY

12. AWESOME AMBROSIA SALAD

13. CRANBERRY BUTTERNUT SQUASH

14. CRANBERRY MAPLE BBQ SAUCE

15. APPLE CRANBERRY MARSALA

16. CHICKEN TENDERLOINS WITH CRANBERRY MUSTARD SAUCE

17. CRANBERRY CHICKEN STEW

18. CRANBERRY CITRUS-GLAZED PORK ROAST

19. CRANBERRY LINGUINE FLORENTINE

20. CRANBERRY ROAST CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATOES

21. CRANBERRY APPLE CRISP

22. CINNAMON CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES

23. CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CHEESECAKE WITH CRANBERRY TOPPING

24. CHOCOLATE PATE WITH CRANBERRY COULIS

25. CHOCOLATE VOLCANO

26. CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE TARTLETS

27. CRANBERRY GINGER DROP COOKIES

28. CRANBERRY BREAD PUDDING

29. CRANBERRY NUT BARS

30. CRANBERRY RASPBERRY FONDUE

31. CRANBERRY MALLOW PIE - you could make this with other fruits as well

32. CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES

33. CRANBERRY-GINGER UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

34. GINGERBREAD WITH WARM CRANBERRY COMPOTE

35. LIGHT CRANBERRY MOUSSE

36. OUTRAGEOUS CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY FUDGE CAKE

37. ROASTED CRANBERRY QUESADILLAS

38. RUSTIC APPLE CRANBERRY TART

39. TYLER'S ULTIMATE PUMPKIN PIE

40. WHITE CHOCOLATE CLUSTERS - uses a microwave

41. CRANBERRY-MANDARIN TRIFLE

42. LEMON-CRANBERRY COCONUT SQUARES

43. CRANBERRY SAUCE A LA ORANGE

44. ORANGE CRANBERRY MUFFINS

45. CRANBERRY NUT BREAD

46. Cranberry pistachio biscotti

47. CRANBERRY BROCCOLI SALAD

48. CRANBERRY SWEET POTATO SOUP

49. CRANBERRY BUTTER LETTUCE SALAD

50. Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

51. JAMIE'S CRANBERRY SPINACH SALAD

Nutritional Info

I have to say there are some yummy looking recipes there, and again a mix of sweet and savory. I hope you try a couple of them........

Next week it's cucumbers, a request from someone.........

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Watery Wednesday......

When I was out and about today I remembered to take my camera with me and on a back road to where I was going I captured these photos.......as always click on the photos for more detail.







For more Waterly Wednesday photos, please click on this link

Happy Anniversary and not sure which part of my body hurts the worst!!!

I nearly forgot, but today is my first anniversary for my blog. I had hoped to have a giveaway, but with moving that has all gone out of the window. I can't believe I have been blogging for a year. One of the best things about blogging is all the great people I have met.

It was a super busy day at the Acreage on Monday. My dad and step-mum came up for the day as it was Victoria Day, so dh was off.

Dh and my dad spent the day putting in a new door in the mud room, as the one that was in there wouldn't close properly without slamming it shut. It has caused dh to hurt his shoulder. Of course the original door wasn't installed properly which made dh and my dad's job even harder.

Meanwhile me and my step-mum spent the day in the garden, and we never stopped. Both of us were hobbling around by the end of the day, but we have achieved a lot, and the garden is looking a lot tidier in places. I got one garden bed cleaned out and the poppies I had brought with me planted.

It helped that the weather was a lot nicer, not too hot, but no wind which made a huge difference!! However, all this exercise has killed my back and now I am suffering.

My dad also cut Kamikaze Hill, and he did a really good job. It was super long though and he was saying the field mice were scattering all over. He also said that last time it was cut, it was cut with a tractor with a mower, not a lawn tractor like ours. All I know it looks lovely now.

They are coming back up on Thursday, so we will get a lot more gardening done then. I have to say I am really grateful for all they are doing.

Here are a couple of views of Kamikaze Hill:



Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday, it's a day of rest isn't it? Also, what breed of bird is this?

I will admit it was a day of sort of rest for us. Ever had one of those days when you think I just can't be bothered? Well Sunday was one of those days for us. Not that we didn't do anything, far from it, but we have a list of jobs a mile long and didn't tackle anything on it.

Now to be fair I don't think the weather helped, as it was so cold and the wind was blowing a gale force again. I hung my washing out and even with the extra pegs I put in, I was still keeping an eye on it, as I thought it may blow off the line.

We went out in the afternoon to Home Depot, and I picked up an apple tree, Golden Delicious and one of those three types of pears on one tree, pear tree. Its a start on what I hope to have one day, a large fruit orchard.

I also picked up one little tomato plant for myself, as I am the only one in the house who likes tomatoes, so I don't need to plant a whole slew of them. I figure if I can get half a dozen tomatoes off it, it has paid for itself.

The only problem being now, its so cold that there is no way I can put any of these out for a few days due to the risk of frost. We had our heating on all day on Sunday as it was that cold. Mind you it's always the same on Victoria Weekend, I don't remember a Victoria holiday weekend when the weather was actually nice and warm? One thing I do know for certain.....it won't be long before I am complaining about how hot and humid it is!!

While I was out in the garden taking a couple of photos for Today's Flower, this bird flew by and it's bright colour caught my eye. It's not the best of photos, but does anyone know what sort of bird it is?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today's Flower

These two purple flowers are growing wild in the garden. The first one grows in the shade, the second one, seems to prefer the sun. No idea what either of them are called, do you?


For more of Today's Flower's photos, please click on this link

This crazy weather...........

Not sure where you live but here in Southern Ontario, especially on the Acreage the weather is all over the place. I had to put my heating on for a little while on Saturday morning as it was so cold. It was pouring down through the night with thunder and lightening. It did dry up for a while, but was pretty blustery throughout the day. Today (Sunday) it is going to be only 12 oC, with a chance of frost overnight.

I am figuring we are at least one if not two weeks behind in the gardening season from our other house, and we only moved around 60 km's north. Mind you it's well known that there is a chance of frost around here until at least May 24th.

The goal for Saturday was to replace the mud room door, but due to the inclement weather we decided to hold off on that. So dh bless him, put the two blinds up in the spare bedroom. He ran new wires for the microwave and freezer, so both are working now. Installed the plumbing for the water line for the fridge, so it now has filtered water and makes ice. Although I do think I will be calling Sears as the water dispenser is dripping, which isn't good. He was going to sort out the outside light, but it was totally wired wrong, and he didn't have one part he needed, so that will have to wait. Plus he was busy with a hundred and one other things.

Now much as I would love to say I sat on the couch eating bon-bons all day, I too was busy. The people before us installed a sprinkler system for the raspberries, which of course was broken and totally installed wrong, using the wrong piping (typical). So I spent ages pulling all that out, and wrapping what I could up. I then mowed all the grass in between the rows, so that's another good job done. I then made a start on digging out the weeds in one of the flower beds, before it started to pour down again.

I picked up some seed potatoes today, and although we don't have a vegetable patch per se, its going to be a case of clearing some weeds and popping a potato in for this year. When I dig up the potatoes then the ground will get a good digging over. I bought 4 lbs of Russets which is supposed to give me approx 60 lbs? Its been over 20 years since I have grown potatoes, so have no idea what I am doing. My dad is coming over on Monday and will no doubt help me.

Oh and one more thing. I haven't been visiting everyone's blogs recently, for a couple of reasons. The main one is time, or lack of it, the second reason is money..........we are limited in our internet service and we pay by how much we use, so this month I am limiting how much time I am on the internet, as I am trying to cut costs. I am hoping to be on more in the colder months when I am not out in the garden.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What I was up to at the acreage on Friday.........

Well I have decided Friday's are a busy day on the acreage, as I have a routine that I like to stick too, and on a Friday I change our bed, clean the bathrooms and do laundry. Then I do what ever else needs to be done. Since moving here, for some reason I end up with two huge loads of laundry, therefore two huge piles of ironing. I have now started to go grocery shopping on a Friday as we are generally busy on the weekend.

Also as the weather was fine on Friday, that meant I had to tackle more of the grass cutting. I am pleased to say as of Friday night, only Kamikaze Hill and amongst the raspberries is the only thing left to cut. However, I still have all the edging to do and I did make a start on using the regular lawn mover where the lawn tractor won't go.

I have a horrible sinking feeling by the time I have got it all done, it'll be all to do again!!!! I actually did something bad today, I ran over the lawn in front off the house with a really low blade, so basically scalped the lawn, only in the hopes I won't have to cut it for a while!!! I know that isn't the answer but we have rain forecast for Saturday, so it won't do it any harm.

Also come to the conclusion, when the weather is nice, I have to be in the garden trying to stay on top of it all. When the weather is bad then I get my housework done.

My friend "K" popped by today with a quote for the windows and doors. He has got the guy organized to come by the beginning of next week to do the roof. Told dh about the quote and he called "K" to say it was too expensive. "K" left a message and has managed to reduce it by $700, so I am a bit happier now. Still a pile of money, but its a job that has to be done. The family room windows and the patio doors have been in since 1974, so I think they have paid their way, don't you?

As I said I have started to go grocery shopping on a Friday. As I had ran the freezer down I am having to stock up again. So once again the grocery bill was over $100 :0( Still the freezer is starting to fill up and I have enough bread for a month now in there.

One thing I do know that since we have moved to this house the days just fly by. I get up in a morning, then before you know it, it's supper time. I love it, and I love where we live!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Buddy Friday - make friends with the locals!!!

At the Acreage we have a number of problems with the house we have affectionately named "The House of Horrors." Including needing two new sets of patio doors and an attic window. So we get the guy to come out from the local Home Hardware to give us a quote, and it turns out he is a wealth of info.

We have been having gale force winds here on "Windy Hill," which has caused some shingles (roof tiles) to fall off, and some are flapping in the wind. Well "K" knows a guy who will come in to fix them.......Yeah for "K" Must say I could cry, as its a new roof with wind resistant shingles on it, so this shouldn't have happened??

We have plumbing issues, "K" has given us the name of a guy, who turns out to be the son of the guy dh just adores in Home Hardware!!!

We have a pile of junk beside the garage. "K" has a side business for scrap metal, so he is coming on the weekend, to take all the metal away, and any wood we have on the pile, as his buddy will burn that......again Yeah for "K"

We want to move the stairs in the attic and of course "K" can also do that and design new ones.....again Yeah for "K"

Told us the big farm opposite us is a big beef operation and twice a year they clean out the liquid manure pits, and fingers crossed the wind isn't blowing in our direction.......don't think that should be a Yeah for "K" do you?

When I was in the garage yesterday I was commenting to one of the guys about how everyone who lives around here, takes no notice what so ever of the speed limits. He agreed but did warn me of an area where everyone does slow down as its a notorious speed trap area, so this is a Yeah for "C"

Anyhow, the gist of this post is that you can learn a lot from people who live locally, and support the local economy at the same time.

For more Buddy Friday posts, pop over to Margaret's Ramblings.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Skywatch Friday......

It's a breezy day here on the acreage aka Windy Hill, but the sky is beautiful.





For more Skywatch Friday photos please click on this link

I'm now a pro at mowing, and some observations....

So on Wednesday I decided to mow the acreage, I ended up getting maybe half of the five acres mown, so I have decided I must be a professional now (as I roll my eyes at that comment!!)

Anyhow I made some observations and have some hints and tips for all the novices out there (again I am being sarcastic here!!)

1. Do not drink a cup of coffee before you go out to mow the lawn, as all that jiggling about, only makes you want to go to the bathroom more!!

2. For all you ladies out there, and maybe even some men (who knows) a good sports bra is in order when you are on a lawn tractor, just to keep the girls more stable. As there is nothing worse than one of the girls going one way and the other going the other way.

3. When driving under or by a tree, remember to duck when you come close to a branch. Thank goodness I had my sunglasses on (didn't have my crash helmet on though), or I could have had a black eye.

4. When you do run out of gas, try not to run out when you are at the far corner of the acreage, as its only then do you realize how far five acres actually runs!! And yes I muttered the whole way back to the garage to get the gas can!!

5. When you are listening to dh's instructions on how to use the lawn tractor, it's helpful to remember that a parking brake is one thing, but it also means you have a brake. It saves your hurtling down Kamikaze Hill thinking you are going to die and not realizing it wouldn't be so bad if you had used the brakes.............

6. When you run over the wild chives, as you just can't be bothered to go around them, the lawn tractor will stink of onions for a while.

7. As a lot of the five acres was probably once a field its not a smooth ride, so be prepared to have a numb bum and wobbly legs.

By the way, I don't like cutting the grass I have decided. Luckily I have a couple of people who are itching to try out the tractor, and as I have left Kamikaze Hill and the field for them to mow, they are welcome to it!!!

Oh and I took my car back to the garage, and it is the fan belt that is squealing and it needs something else to go with the fan belt. So that will cost us another $230 for that, however dh and the garage reckon it can wait another month or so.......

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I think I have got back into my groove again......and my near death experience!

Tuesday, I decided to take everyone's advise, including dh's and have a quiet day. We had a bit of frost overnight, luckily I had put garbage bags over all my geraniums.

My dad had put a shelf in the bathroom vanity, so I put contact paper on that and emptied the last box from the bathroom in there, so that was a good job sorted. I then went into the garden and picked some rhubarb as there is a huge patch of it, and I made a couple strawberry and rhubarb pies for the freezer.



The small "pie" is a pear and raspberry pie I made with the scraps of pastry. It feels so good to be baking again. The only down side to that though, I had never used my oven before on my new stove and it stunk.

I sorted through a pile of paperwork and made a number of phone calls. Pleased to say got a few things sorted out, including getting someone in on Thursday to give us a quote on the new patio doors. The fireplace guy is away so can't call him until the end of next week, otherwise I would have got him in to give us a quote.

Now for my "near death experience." I told everyone before we moved, when I was going to use the lawn tractor I would be wearing my flowery wellies and a crash helmet!!! Well today I wish I had, had my crash helmet on. So when dh came home for work he set up the lawn tractor and showed me how to use it. I ran around the front part of the lawn to practice and figured I knew what I was doing.

After supper I had to go to the garage to pick up my car, nearly $1,900 and I am going to have to take it back in, as it's making a funny noise. Dh called in at Home Hardware on the way home, so when I got home, I thought I'd make a start on mowing some of the acreage. On the left side of the house its steep, and that of course is where the dandelions are growing the most.

Now common sense tells you, to find the least steep area and go down there with your mower. So I find the least steep area, and the lawn mower just goes hurtling down the hill. I thought I was going to die, I mean I thought I was going to crash into the fence. I closed my eyes as I was so terrified. So I get to the bottom of the hill, and thought now what, so I decided I would potter along down there, but was terrified the whole time. The grass was so long it was crazy. I had my blade too low which made things worse.

So I lifted up my blade and stopped mowing and made a run for the hill to get back up to the top. I managed to get to the top, and swore up and down to dh (who had since arrived home), that I was never ever cutting that side of the grass. I mowed the area in front of the house, but it is so bumpy. When I got off the mower, my legs were all wobbly and my butt was still vibrating. I swear if I don't lose any weight with all this exercise I will scream.

So if anyone wants to volunteer to mow my five acres, go ahead, as I have decided it's not my favourite thing to do!! Fingers crossed when I attempt to mow more of the lawn on Wednesday that I don't plow down all the raspberry, blueberry and blackcurrant bushes!!!

50 + 1 Recipes for Blackcurrants.....

I am not a fan of blackcurrants, but we have numerous blackcurrant bushes growing in the garden of our new house, so I have to figure out what to do with them.

1. Blackcurrant Jam

2. Blackcurrant Jelly

3. Blackcurrant Fool

4. Blackcurrant Pavlova

5. Blackcurrant Sorbet

6. Blackcurrant Ice-Cream

7. Blackcurrant Tart

8. Blackcurrant Baked Alaska

9. Blackcurrant Cheesecake

10. Blackcurrant Float

11. Blackcurrant Mousse

12. Blackcurrant Pears

13. Lamb Chops with Blackcurrant Sauce

14. Creamy Blackcurrant Cheesecake

15. Creamy Blackcurrant Crunch

16. Dairy free Blackcurrant rice Surprise

17. Double Crust Blackcurrant Pie

18. Pork with Blackcurrant

19. Blackcurrant and Orange Sour Cream Coffee Cake

20. Summer Pudding - a Delia recipe!!

21. Summer Fruit Brulee - another Delia recipe

22. Blackcurrant Syrup - homemade Ribena

23. Blackcurrant Cream Flan

24. Poached Anjou Pears on Black Currant Strawberry Sauce

25. Blackcurrant Sorbet

26. Black Mead

27. Apple and Blackcurrant Crumble Bars

28. Pear and poire william clafoutis with blackcurrants

29. Blackcurrant Mousse

30. Victoria Sponge with Blackcurrant Curd

31. Blackcurrant Swirl Cheesecake

32. Scones with blackcurrant jam and orange cream

33. Orange bavarois with blackcurrant coulis

34. Blackcurrant Muffins

35. Blackcurrant Jam Pudding

36. Panna Cotta with Blackcurrants

37. Blackcurrant Yogurt Ice

38. Blackcurrant Cake

39. Apple and Blackcurrant Pie

40. Gluten-free Summer Pudding

41. Blackcurrant Jelly with custard - you could make this with any type of fruit.

42. Blackcurrant Cupcakes

43. Blackcurrant and Redcurrant Tarts

44. Grilled Duck Breast with Black Currants

45. Blackcurrant Muffins

46. Light Lemon and Blackcurrant Gratin

47. Saffron Brulee Ice Cream with Blackcurrants

48. Blackcurrant Loaf

49. Blackcurrant Almond Bars

50. Blackcurrant Gooseberry Jelly

51. Blackcurrant Breakfast Muffins

Nutritional Info.

One thing I did discover while looking for these recipes, blackcurrants are more popular in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, than they are in Canada and the States. There are a couple I wouldn't mind trying myself, and I hope you find a couple there that you wouldn't mind trying.

Next week its: Cranberries.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Watery Wednesday......

Across the fields at the back of the house is this watery area. I haven't been near it yet, it looks sort of swampy, plus its not our property, and swamps = snakes!!! I took these photos off our back deck.

(click on the photos for more detail)




For more Watery Wednesday photos, please click on this link

Monday was a great day, until...............

I know what you are saying.............NOW WHAT!!!

As I said we had a great day, my dad and step-mum came up. My dad is great with wood, so he got busy making some shelves for my bathroom cupboard. He removed some rotten wood trim, and then he started to tidy up in the garage.

They brought up some stone cleaner, as the fireplace has been smoking badly and all the stone is black with soot. My step-mum set about cleaning all the stone's and what a difference. I wish I had taken a before photo. One stone was jet black, it is now pink.

Meanwhile I went out in the garden and picked up a pile of sticks and branches that I know the tractor won't run over, and placed them in the fire pit. Then in the afternoon, me and my step-mum started to attack the mutant thistles and the dandelions.

By 3:30pm we were pooped and they went home. So when dh came home we decided to go to Home Hardware to see how much patio doors were. We get into my car and set off, and go about a couple of metres and the car is making a heck of a noise. To cut a long story short, the struts have gone on my car. Now remember we have moved to a new area, so have no idea what garage is a good garage and what is a bad garage. So we call into this garage, and talk to the guy and he seems nice. So when you are reading this on Tuesday, the car will be towed to the garage, and I hope to have it back on Tuesday night. There will be a bill for at least $1,500 for that!! I mean its one thing after another.

So there you go another day in the life of that British woman!!! By the way we saw a turkey walk across the garden, saw a weasel in the garage, two hummingbirds also popped into the garage to talk to my dad, and my dad saw a pair of snipes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two steps forward and one step back..........

As I am writing this on Sunday night, I have to admit I had a moment today when I said to myself, what the heck we were thinking......

One of the jobs to do on Sunday was for dh to install the microwave above the stove. Granted it's not a five minute job, but little did we realize it would be an all day job. I may have mentioned before dh is an electrician, so we knew when we bought the house, some of the electrics were not up to par, but because the guy screwed up everything he touched, a simple job turns into a major operation. So of course this turned into a major job today.

The electrics are done for the microwave, but it's still not up yet. Hopefully he'll have time through the week to finish installing it. He did manage to install my under the cupboard can opener, so that was good, as I was itching to have baked beans!!!

The people who owned the house before us had dogs. They kept them a lot down the basement of the extension. I have been smelling pee for the last few days, as the family room is above the basement. So my job on Sunday was to pull off the carpet on the stairs, and wash the floor of the basement.

The carpet was probably from the 70's, as it was this orange and brown creation with foam backing. I had to scrape the rest of the foam off the stairs and I will have to sand them to get the rest of the glue and foam off before we can either paint them or carpet them.

Then in the basement we have a lot of stuff stored in one half of the basement. So I washed one half of the floor, then moved all the stuff to that half of the basement and wash the other half of the floor. In between hands I unpacked a couple of boxes and put more stuff away.

I have to say since doing all of that the smell of the pee has now gone away, so I guess that is a good thing.

After supper I decided to go out in the garden and make a start on the gardens. We are overrun with dandelions and thistles. I honestly don't know how on earth I am going to get rid of them all, other than constant weeding. If any one has any environmental ideas of how to get rid of them, I would love to hear about it.

So although I felt we weren't getting anywhere today, I guess we did get a lot done. One lovely thing did happen today, well a couple of things, both kids called to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Then my neighbour from the old house, drove up to give me a bunch of flowers for mothers day, and she didn't even have our proper address. She knew which road from the real estate listing and a photo from the same listing, so drove up the road until she saw the house and our cars. That brought tears to my eyes, as that was such a sweet thing to do.

I think both me and dh are just both so tired and aren't sleeping well, as we both ache in places we never knew could ache. I know we'll look back on all of this in six months time and laugh about it all. It's just not feeling funny at this moment!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today's Flower

Well today, I have two different types of flowers from our new house. One I would call a weed, a dandelion, the other is a true flower. I have to say we have more dandelion's than anything at the moment, which if I were at my old house I would have dug them all out by now. Here at the new house, we have more weeds than grass, plus there are five acres, so I think I would be on a losing battle, don't you?








For more of Today's Flower photos, please click on this link

Happy Mother's Day and water softener woes.........

First of all Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's out there. It's Mother's Day here in Canada and the USA.

We celebrated Mother's Day on Saturday as dd boyfriend works on a Sunday. She invited me and dh down for lunch and she made a lovely meal of club sandwiches with Cesar salad and cheesecake for dessert.

Ds, dd and dd boyfriend all clubbed together to by me this Ipod:


As you can see it's in my favourite colour red, and dd downloaded 85 songs on it for me, and I have to say, she knows me so well, as I listened to some of them on the way home and they are great. It's tiny but will be great when I am cutting the grass or in the garden.

Then dh got me Wii Fit:

As I said to dh, I will probably get more use out of this when the weather is colder than in the Summer when I am outdoors a lot anyhow. Still it was great of him to get that for me, so I have been a very lucky mother again this year, helped by being blessed with two wonderful children!!

Now for the Water Softener woes. We have never had a water softener in our prior homes, so this is all new to us. This one in our house was of course icky, and it had no salt in it, plus they didn't leave a manual on how it works. So I picked up three 20 kg bags of salt last week, but haven't had the time to dismantle the tub and wash it all out.

Finally managed to get that done Saturday morning in the middle of a torrential downpour!! I am standing out there with my flowery rain boots on, my bright pink capris and my anorak hosing out this tub. Needless to say I got drenched. In case you were wondering where dh was, he was busy trying to connect the downspout to the eaves trough on the garage, to stop that flooding into the garage. So yes he was soaked as well.

So we put the salt in, but wasn't sure what else to do with it. Anyhow, dd boyfriend found some information in the internet, and we had to add 5 gallons of water to it. So I did that when we got home later Saturday night. Now we have to study the instructions that "B" found and see what else we have to do. It is set up for something, not sure what though at this point.

We're not daft, it's just that we have never had to deal with this sort of thing before so its all very foreign to us!!!

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