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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bits and Bobs........oh and Bell Canada AGAIN!!!

Got my combined Bell Canada bill today and honestly every time I get a bill I get more confused by them, not helped by the fact I am calling India. Anyhow, I was under the impression I am paying 5 cents per minute to call Britain, instead I am getting charged 79 cents per minute??? Who on earth pays 79 cents a minute, other than when you are calling Outer Mongolia!!

Then of course there was the dreaded internet charges, and that was another $58+ to make over $80 in charges just for the internet this month, and I am hardly ever on it!!! I am at my wits end with these guys. So overall this bill, which also included the Satellite was close to $190. On a positive side, it is our main form of entertainment, so I guess, its not too, to expensive.

I managed to get the house tidied up a bit on Monday. However I got side tracked by being on the phone for over an hour with Bell Canada. Then the mail woman called in to bring me back a card I had sent out. The envelope was dark blue and I had written the address in black ink, so Canada Post couldn't read it????? So our local post office had re-written ENGLAND in bold black ink and sent it out for me, but again Canada Post sent it back. So the mail woman called into the house and asked me if I wanted to put a white label on the envelope with the address on. So I did that and had a chit chat with her, then she took my card and made sure it went into the mail box for me. Talk about great service, that's what you get for living in the country!!!

Mind you on the flip side, I had to call our local town offices, to see when we were going to be billed for our next lot of property taxes, and to make sure we were on monthly billing. It turns out they go out on the 15th of the month. So I said are we going to get something in the mail, the lady said probably by the end of next week. Talk about leaving it to last minute!!!

I got a letter in the mail on Monday, giving us permission to put in an objection/review of our property tax assessment. There is a procedure to this, and I have completed the first stage. So I have until July 10th, to file the second letter, and to send in all the paperwork. Its costing us around $350 a month in property taxes, which I feel is a bit steep, as that was what we were paying in the city.

In between the showers on Monday I did manage to get the laundry dry. It's forecast for rain on and off all week, so I can see me getting some jobs done around the house this week.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A couple of things...........

Well first of all, Walter Henry has gone back to the shelter. I feel bad, but we honestly couldn't live with the allergies. Every time he went close to dh, dh's eyes started to water. Even my nose was itching and we were avoiding poor Walter Henry, which wasn't fair to him. We also decided that we would rather do it now, as the longer we left it the more attached we would become to him, and him to us. So there will be no cats in this house, ever. He's an adorable cat, and will be adopted in no time. The shelter people were ever so nice and even asked if we were ready to adopt a dog. I said I wanted to leave it for a while.

I feel as though it's been a rough few days, and due to that we had a couple hours away from the house. We went to a small town called Creemore for a couple of hours. Its the first time we have been there and its really a pleasant little town/village. I picked up a book called "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver from the Curiosity House Books & Gallery. I am looking forward to reading it. There was another book I saw there, but I have forgotten what it was called, but it was about the trials and tribulations of living on a country property. Sound familiar!!!!

I am hoping this week to get some things sorted out with the attic. I am finding it frustrating trying to get quotes for work on the attic. Also we keep getting conflicting information on what should or shouldn't be done in the attic. I know the house is looking a lot better than it was when we moved in, I do feel as though we have hit a stand still.

We got a couple of little jobs done this weekend, including getting the base built for the wood/logs storage. I rang a guy and left a message about getting some logs, but as yet he hasn't called me back, which is typical!! We also got the willow tree trimmed at the entrance to the property. It was hanging down so low, that when I went for the mail the branches were hitting me. So it looks a lot tidier now.

Dh has some vacation time in September, and due to all the expenses we have with the house, I think it will be a vacation at home. However we live in such a lovely area, that I am hoping to have a few day trips. We picked up a copy of the Georgian Bay Mountain Life magazine when we were out, and there is a lot to do close to home. We also got the Summer copy of The Hills Of Headwaters magazine this past week and there is a lot featured in there of places I would like to visit. So I can see us having some pleasant day trips to places we haven't been to yet.

So here's hoping I have a much more productive and positive week.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sorry..... and Today's Flower

Sorry I didn't get a post done for yesterday, but I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and tired with things this week. Its been so hot and humid, and I have suffered from it. Then add in Walter Henry to it all, it was all just a bit too much for me. Feeling a bit better now, as Walter Henry is settling in nicely and the weather is cooler.

However we have ran into a bit of a problem with Walter Henry, dh is allergic to him; I mean very allergic, his poor eyes are red raw and are running like mad. My eyes are itchy and my nose is itchy. As dh is on blood pressure medication I am not sure what he will be able to take, so I need to go to the pharmacy and see what is safe for him. So the jury is out at the moment whether or not we'll be keeping him. Otherwise Walter Henry is settling in just fine.

I took a couple of shots for the Today's Flower meme. I really need to understand how to use the Macro function on my camera properly, as sometimes I get good photos that are in focus, other times I just can't get them in focus properly. It all seems very hitty missy to me. So I am guessing it's me not the camera that is the problem?


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

Friday, June 26, 2009

Say hello to Walter Henry........

I brought him home on Thursday afternoon and he spent most of the time in the closet. So the photo is the one from the shelter website, as he seems to be very camera shy at the moment!! Now you are probably wondering where I got the name from? It's from a Dolly Parton song, "Walter Henry Hagen." I have always loved that song, so thought it was appropriate.

I am hoping he'll be more comfortable around us in a couple of days. One thing I do need to do is brush him. I have to take him to the vet on Friday for a check up and a rabies shot. I think he'll fit in just fine around here. When we can get him out of the closet he seems very friendly enough, he obviously feels more comfortable in the closet though at the moment.

We finally got rain on Thursday which cooled things down a little finally. I bought another fan in Wal-Mart on the way to picking Walter Henry up, to put in the family room. I can see it being a long summer if this heat continues though!!

I spent another 3 hours on the lawn tractor Thursday morning and got a lot of the field done. It's been over two weeks since I last cut it, and because of that its taking longer than normal to cut. I hope to get the rest done today (Friday).

Quite a shock Michael Jackson dying. Also what a shame Farrah Fawcett dying as well. Used to love her in Charlie's Angels.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Skywatch Friday......

I had totally forgotten bout Skywatch Friday, but as I was walking to the end of the drive to pick up the newspaper I saw this stunning sky and that reminded me.



for more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on this link

Don't worry you don't need to call the fashion police...

as when dd sees the photo below, she will be calling the fashion police herself, then calling me AGAIN to tell me what on earth am I doing wearing socks and sandals. Gosh that's an attractive photo of my svelte legs isn't it...LOL Not sure where my knees are though????

Anyhow, stuff to tell you. Its ruddy boiling hot in this house, its 27oC inside of the house now. I did manage to get more stuff done today though, so I suppose that's something. Kept all the windows closed throughout the day and only opened them after 8pm when it was a little cooler.

UPS arrived Wednesday with my lawn mower blades (DRAT!!), so dh got them put on and I managed to get a couple hours of mowing done. However I did cause myself an injury by forgetting to duck under a tree, and got bopped on my head. You would think I would know better, but obviously not.

Dh made the base of the wood log store on Wednesday night, so when he gets the rest put together I can go ahead and order the logs.

Around 500 metres down the road, a couple of guys were doing something with a tent on the side of the road, so being the nosy person that I am, I stopped by to see what they were up to, and it turns out they have a fruit and veggie stand, and they have been doing that for the past 28 years. So to cut a long story short he has offered to buy some of my raspberries and sell them for me. So I rang the local restaurant and asked them if I could have their soft fruit containers that they throw out, they haven't got back to me yet, but hopefully they do. The extra cash would come in handy, as you all know we have more money going out than coming in at the moment!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

They were busy little bees........

We have a family of chipmunks in the garden, and they were extremely busy on Tuesday morning eating the seeds from the tree by the deck. So I took a couple photos of them, they're cute.......well as long as they stay outside of the house they are cute!!!













I am now going down the old basement with trepidation as I know I have to get rid of this mouse, but I honestly don't relish the task of hauling a dead body out of the the trap, and by dead body I mean a mouse body!!! So far nothing though. Not sure how long I have to keep the traps down there with peanut butter on them, does anyone know?

It was another hot day on Tuesday, so I basically ended up doing very little. I wasn't feeling 100% and with the heat it just made me feel a lot worse. So I lounged around the house all day being a lazy bum. I did go outside and hoe the weeds from the veggie garden, but even that was hard work in the heat. At least we are managing to sleep, because as soon as the sun starts to go down I open all the bedroom windows and turn the fan on. I wonder how people kept cool before they had electricity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We have a houseguest.........

an uninvited one I may add. Its small, brown and furry, and I am not sure if it is a he or she, but answers to the name of MOUSE!!!! I couldn't believe it, I was getting ready to go to bed on Sunday night and there it was wandering through the family room. After letting out a screech, I decided to go and get a brush and try and get it out of the patio door.

To cut a stupid story short, it ended up behind the stove and went down a hole we have in the floor, and probably ended up in the basement. So I went to store on Monday and bought a couple of mouse traps. The guy said these ones are washable so I can use them over and over again (HUH?) Luckily he told me where to place them and to put peanut butter on them. Who knew mice liked peanut butter, I thought it was cheese?

After a few false starts and a few times of it going off and me having peanut butter all over my hands, I managed to get them set. I will say I am so not looking forward to there being anything in the traps, but I can't have brown furry creatures wandering around the house willy nilly, now can I?

I picked up some ant traps at the store also, as I am determined once and for all to get rid of these stupid ants. The manager of the store was passing by me, and was asking how things were, and I was telling her, at this rate, we will have the whole of the wildlife community living in the house with us. The bluebottle situation is still miserable, I find as the day progresses the worse they get?

The humidity has hit and we have no a/c. So last night we had to use a small table fan we had purchased on the weekend in the bedroom and we survived. So fingers crossed we will be okay through the rest of the summer.

We popped down to the animal shelter late Monday afternoon and filled in an application for a cat. They will let us know if they will accept our application. They do turn down people, so not sure how it will go. I'll post more on it when we get to know what's what.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oops :00

Well all I can say is I didn't mean too..........I broke the blade, actually badly dented it, on the lawn tractor today. Dh was not impressed. I ran over a brick that was hiding in the grass, not sure how I had missed it in the past, but today I ran over it. So got on the phone to Sears to order a couple blades at $24.99 each :0( They are supposed to be here in 5 to 7 business days. So I guess in between hands there will be no grass cutting for me. Mind you that doesn't excuse me from the garden, as there is still plenty to do.

Oh and dh discovered the ants in the kitchen again; dh was not impressed!! So he was all in a tizzy about that. I had thought I had got rid of them, but no they seem to have materialized again. I bought some spray killer, and am going to spray that all around the window ledge in the kitchen as that is where they are coming in at, though not exactly sure where.

We are also getting a lot of house flies, we call them bluebottles, in the house. I have no idea where they are coming from, does anyone have the same problem? Remember when we moved into the house the windows were full of dead flies. So I wonder if this is another problem we have inherited?

This is more for the people on this side of the ocean, are you watching John and Kate Plus 8 tonight? I am not sure what their big announcement will be, but would love it to be they are pulling the plug on the series so they can work on re-building their marriage and family again. Some how or other I don't see that happening do you? One thing I do know, the ratings for the show, will be sky high again.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today's Flower

We have a couple of wild roses in the garden and they have a beautiful smell. Its windy today so was hard getting a photo.



By the way, Blogger flipped the last photo, AGAIN!!

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

Happy Father's Day to all those dad's out there.

We celebrated Father's Day on Saturday, as dd (dear daughter) boyfriend has to work on a Sunday. His weekend is Friday and Saturday. Ds (dear son) came down for the weekend, and my dad and step-mum came over as well. Ds and dd boyfriend barbecued for me, and they lucked out as the rain stopped while they barbecued.

It was a pretty miserable day as far as the weather went, as it poured down all day and it was pretty humid at times, a taster of what's to come this coming week, when the temperatures will be hitting the high 30's with the humidity. It will also be a tester for me, as we don't have central air, so I wonder how I will manage?

Anyhow back to Father's Day, we gave my dad money. I gave dh (dear husband) a chainsaw, ds gave him a wrecking bar (please don't ask me to describe that thing?), 7 cans of Strongbow cider, should have been 8 but he drank one....LOL Dd bought him a bathroom reader (a book of quotes to read while sitting on the loo) and an LCBO (liqour store) gift certificate, so all in all dh did very well.

I had a taste of one of the Strongbow ciders, but must say I prefer Woodpecker cider, as its sweeter. I don't drink alcohol, but I wouldn't mind trying a shandy again, as its years since I have had one. I don't like beer normally as its not sweet enough for me.

Now it won't be a complete day of rest for dh on Father's Day, as we are going to do a little bit of yard work, plus we need to make a trip to Home Depot in the afternoon. One of our goals this week is to make some sort of stand thingy (don't know what the correct word is) for the logs, as I want to get the wood ordered and delivered for winter this next week. So we need to get the materials to make that.

We bought a cheap shop vac on Saturday so we can vacuum all the blown in insulation out of the attic. That may seem a bit extravagant buying that, but that is going to be one heck of an icky job removing that from the attic. I am hoping to get the rest of the insulation bats removed through the week, I'll go up first thing in a morning before it gets too hot.

So a Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there, I hope you have a lovely day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Photos of the outside of the house, and more on the attic...

As promised here are some photos of the outside of the house.

Here is the front of the house, which faces East, and is built of field stone in 1907. The mud room addition happened in the last 25 years.

This is the North side of the house, including the extension, which was built in 1974.

West side of the house and extension.

South side of the house, that shows both the mud room and the family room extension.

View from the back deck.

View from the front deck of the house.


So on Friday we were up in the attic again. Got the last of the plaster and lathe off. Got rid of some of the insulation. However there is a lot of blown in insulation as well, and we need to buy a cheap shop vac that doesn't need bags to pick it all up. I just happen to know ds has got dh a gift certificate for Home Depot for Father's Day, so he can use it for that.

We went to the dump again and on Thursday and Friday we disposed of 2,600 pounds of plaster. We still have half a dozen bags to get rid off, which we will do when we go back with the insulation. So, so far it has cost us around $115 in disposal fees. I have to say its been hard work, but so worth while.

So on Friday afternoon we played hooky. We went out for a late lunch at The Mono Cliffs Inn and had a super meal. We had lamb burgers, with mint sauce, goat cheese and Cesar salad. It was so good and so filling. We will definitely go again.

We then went by the animal shelter to look at the dogs and cats. Dh fell in love with one dog, I fell in love with another one, so we decided to leave it a couple of days to think about it. Its awful though to see all those doggies barking in their cages. It was a lot quieter in the cat rooms, and we saw a lovely little cat called Tina. Again decided to think it over.

We then went and did some grocery shopping, which was fun as dh was with me. In between hands I did three loads of laundry, all which was to iron when we got home at 5pm. Lunch was so filling though, that we didn't have supper, just a few snacks later on.

So we got a lot achieved today and I had a good time being with dh.

Friday, June 19, 2009

One Thousand Pounds of Plaster.....and we saw something funny..

that is how much we took to the dump on Thursday and we have the same again to take today (Friday). It cost us $50 to dispose of it on Thursday, so today will no doubt be the same. We got all the walls stripped and carted down the stairs, I have carried approximately 80 garbage bags down two flights of stairs!!!

On Friday we have to pull off the last of the baseboards, and then start on pulling out the insulation. That is the job I am dreading doing, as its like cotton wool, I hate touching that also, its icky. Dh did get some temporary lights put up in the attic, so that will help a lot. However I think we have run into another problem, as it looks as though someone has put drywall over the plaster and lathe in the spare bedroom {{{SIGH}}}. Why I have no idea, but it's another thing we have to deal with. How we know this, is dh pulled up a couple of floorboards in the attic above the bedroom. There was enough lathe/wood taken from the attic to the firepit to have another fire on the weekend again.

Now for the funny thing that happened today. First let me apologize to any of you who uses a motorized wheelchair, as this story involves a motorized wheelchair/scooter.

After we had been to the dump we called in at the Home Hardware in the town close to us. As we left we noticed an elderly gentleman coming up the road on a motorized wheelchair/scooter, proudly displaying his Canadian Flag. Behind him was an OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) car, I jokingly said to dh, "I bet he pulls the old guy over." Sure enough he did, can you believe that.....LOL

Now to be fair it wasn't a busy road, nor was it a quiet road, there was a lot of traffic going into the Home Hardware, including trucks. However there were no sidewalks/footpaths for the old guy to drive on, so he had no choice but to go on the road. No idea what he told the guy, but we called in at a coffee shop at the end of the road, and when we were leaving, we saw him coming back down the road in his wheelchair/scooter. This time without the police escort!!!

Thanks for all your kind anniversary wishes, I really appreciated them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Anniversary and other things..

Well it's that time of year again, our Wedding Anniversary, 26 years. We're celebrating it a lot differently than we did last year, as last year we went to Niagara-On-The-Lake This year we're being up close and personal in the attic stripping the plaster and lathe, romantic or what!!!! Dh is taking both Thursday and Friday off, so we can get a lot of work done in the attic. Our goal is to have it stripped clean of the plaster and lathe, and all the old insulation by Sunday, and all the garbage taken to the dump.



On Wednesday I spent three hours mowing the lawn and got a lot done. However one thing I did do is kill a baby bird. I didn't mean too, but I feel awful, I clipped it with the lawn tractor, I didn't see it, as it was partially hidden by the raspberry bushes. I haven't been back to that area to see what's what.

I prepared this post last night on my laptop, and for some reason it never posted? So here I am having my breakfast checking my emails before I go upstairs into the attic. I need to get the tractor and trailer out first and take out the garbage, and its raining this morning.......oh the joys!!! At least it will be only the one trip down the driveway with the tractor and trailer, so I should be grateful.

Well that attic is calling my name so I should get on!!! Have a super day. Gill

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday - A day away from the Acreage....

I had the honour of being invited to my neighbour "R's" swearing in ceremony for becoming a Canadian citizen on Tuesday morning. It was in Mississauga, which is where I used to work and is a pretty big city of around 700,000 people. It was held at the busiest citizenship court in the country. 107 people were sworn in from 24 countries, including the States, which I thought was very strange, an American becoming a Canadian?

R's dh sat with me and I sat next to a lovely man from Nepal, his wife was being sworn in. R's co-workers had given her a "I'm Proud to be a Canadian" red t-shirt, which she wore. I am sure the judge probably commented on it. Must say it was a long ceremony, it took an hour and a half just to get everyone processed and seated. We became Canadian citizens back in 1993. I had a little chuckle though, as you could have your photo taken with the judge and the police officer at the end. So R and her dh went up and insisted I go with them. So that confused the heck out of the judge as he thought we were two families, as R and her dh are Indian and I am white. Funny thing is, when we are together I totally forget we are from different backgrounds. I don't even notice the strange looks that people give us anymore, as R and I are so close, like a mother and daughter relationship, so we are talking up a storm whenever we are together.

We had to be there for 8:30am so I had to set off around 7am to get there, and had to travel through rush hour. I have to say I don't miss travelling in the rush hour, as its stop and go the whole way. I saw so many police cars also. Will admit I don't miss it, all the traffic and the people. It made me realize how lucky we are to have the Acreage, even with all its problems.

Although I did go to Chapters to pick up the June issue of the Prima magazine, as that is the only place I know where I can buy it. I also picked up the OK! magazine, the June 9th issue. I like to catch up with the celebrity gossip! I also had a pedicure while I was down in the area, as I still have a couple of coupons for free pedicures, from the Herbal Essences promotion last year.

I got home just before 4pm, and will say I was pooped, but it made a lovely change, and gave my car a good run out, which it hasn't had in a long time. So now back to normal!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What a dirty icky job and other stuff.....

So on Monday morning I got up bright and early and went into the attic to remove 45 garbage bags of plaster out of there. Believe me I counted everyone. I wasn't perspiring, nor was I sweating, water was pouring out of me like a tap!!! I swear if I don't lose any weight with all this exercise I am going to be royally ticked. I hauled the bags down to the bottom of the attic stairs and stacked some there, then hauled them down the main stairs and out onto the front deck. It took me around two hours or so to do this, and then I had to tidy up, as despite my best efforts I still made a mess. It is a dirty icky job and I know Carol will totally agree with me on that. We cannot haul it out of the window, as the roof is in the way, so this is the best and fastest option.

I then remembered to take some photos, for a change!!!

So the first one, is of the stairs. They actually look rather nice in the photo but they are very narrow and are damaged. I might put an ad in the newspaper to see if anyone wants them, when we get rid of them.

As you can see it is a nice high roof, that dh still has to strip the knee wall. We are saving the baseboard/skirting board to reuse again.

The piece of plaster left in the ceiling is the only electric/light source, so until dh wires up the place we need to leave it in.

This one shows you where the dormer window is at.


We are going to put a skylight in above the area, where the plastic is, as the roof has been repaired with a couple pieces of tin there, so that will get rid of them.

Finally this is a photo of all the bags sitting on the front deck.

The goal is to have the rest of the plaster stripped off, removed, and all the old insulation removed by the end of the week. Dh has Thursday and Friday off which will hopefully help, although he is still in an awful lot of pain with his shoulder and elbow.

We had a guy over Monday to give us a quote on putting the skylight in, repairs to the roof and to insulate the attic. We had met him at the home show back in February/March. The company he works for seems okay, so we'll see what happens when we get the quote from him.

I got the bill in Monday for the internet, and if I wasn't confused before I am now. As per the leaflet on the charges, I should have been charged at least $50, plus various other charges, so it would have probably come to around $70+ I got billed less than $25, why I have no idea. I of course will not be calling them to find out why, but I will say Bell Canada has me totally confused?

I also managed to get Kamakazie Hill cut on Monday, and it only took me 2 1/2 hours, the fastest yet. I am still not 100% happy cutting it, but its getting easier for me.

So all in all Monday was a super busy day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Busy weekend, and I need your advise.........

This has been a crazy busy weekend, but a good weekend.

Saturday, we were busy in the garden in the morning. Then in the afternoon, I spent a couple of hours cooking, and then we had a couple of friends come over for supper and a visit. They are such a great couple and we had a super time. It was also great to have a rest, as dh is still hurting badly with his shoulder and his elbow.

Sunday, my dad and step-mum were over by 7:30am. Dh was still in bed, and I was wandering around in my nightie!! Anyhow, me and dh went into the attic and dh had made a sort of slide thing, so we could slide the wood down it to the outside. My dad picked it up and put it on the fire pit, and my step-mum kept an eye on the fire.

We then tried it with the plaster but that made a terrible mess, so we ended up bagging it, but only got so much done, as it was so hot and dusty in the attic. We were wearing boiler suits/coveralls and masks. We are going to have to carry the bags downstairs and we will take them to the dump. Gosh it is a messy, dirty job, which is made even more worse that its in the attic. I am going to bag some more of the plaster today while dh is at work.

After lunch we did a couple of jobs, which included taking down part of the fencing at the front of the property. We burned some of the wood posts, as they were rotten. We have to pull out the metal post's, and roll up the wire fencing, plus there are still some wooden posts to remove. It then poured down, so dad and step-mum left and we came into the house to take it easy, and that is where we stayed while keeping an eye on the fire pit.

So what I need advise on is the country boys (window installers) mentioned how many mice they had caught during the fall last year, and they were saying between 20 and 30 each, and one guys house was built in the 80's so not that old and he still had all these mice. When I was cleaning the house I found a number of mice droppings, old ones, so I know we will be getting mice as well. I mentioned we were thinking of getting a cat, but I am concerned about the claws, as to de-claw a cat means it won't be able to catch the mice. So what would you suggest?

Also we want to get a dog, maybe even a couple. I have seen on the local SPCA site a couple of basset hounds, Kate and Leopolde, click on this link to see them. I love basset hounds and would take both of them, but am worried as the acreage isn't securely fenced and we are close to the road. In your opinion what breed of dog would you advise us getting? I don't really want a puppy, I want a dog that listens to me (someone has too!), that will stay on the property, that doesn't need a lot of exercise and doesn't shed like a crazy person. Is there such a dog out there, oh and I would prefer a dog to be under 70 lbs, so when on the leash I can control it/them. We have had a black lab cross before and loved her to bits.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday and Today's Flower

We have been super busy this weekend, so haven't had time to post. I'll hopefully get a catch up post done for Monday morning.




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

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Firewood and grocery shopping.....

I am trying to find a good price on firewood. Prices range quite widely I find and I am still not 100% sure who I am going to go with. Basically I am going to get 1 year old, half dry wood. The cheapest place is $290 a bush cord, another place $320, and another place $350. The $290 is in the town just down the road from us, so pretty convenient and his name was given to us by the fireplace store.

Oh, and the fireplace store gave me this link to a website that I can get a piece of tin panel for my fireplace. I would love to put in a tin ceiling in our kitchen at some point. I love the look, I also like the idea of a tin back splash as well.

I went to the city on Friday grocery shopping, the city has a population of 27,000 which actually surprised me, as it doesn't feel that big. Anyhow I have discovered a couple of things that save me money. At Zehrs they put 50% stickers on their deli, salads, bakery. I stocked up on a pile of bread, buns, bagels and an apple pie, all at 50% off, so that saved me a bunch a money.

Then in Sobey's its their meat department where they put their 50% stickers. I picked up 5 fresh chicken breasts for $8.50 and a pork roast for under $4. All these good buys are helping stock my freezer. Both these grocery stores are opposite one another, so its very convenient.

I also filled my gas propane BBQ tank for $10 today, as this place was having a 3 day sale...YEAH!! Then when I got home there was a message on the phone from "K" to say he wanted $1950 (taxes incl) to supply and install the skylight in the attic and for all the work on the roof. I wasn't impressed. I thought it would be closer to $1500, so I am getting another company in next week to give me a quote. Dh has got the roof pulled down in the attic and only has the knee walls to pull apart now. Well done DH!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bats, Black Fly and bone weary.....

Bats - Well for those of you who live in the country, I bet you were wondering when I would mention bats. Well every night at around 9:45pm there is a scurry of activity outside of our bedroom window. It turns out we have bats :0O Now I have been told I should be happy I have bats as they eat a lot of mosquitoes. Which is all well and good, but do I want them living in our attic??? Not too sure about that, and to be honest with us pulling the attic to bits, not sure how long they will be hanging around anyhow.

Black Flies - I now have to huge black fly bites on either side of my neck. I don't know why they didn't just go for my jugular and put me out of my misery!!

Bone Weary - As I am typing this on Thursday night I am bone weary. Not sure why, I spent the afternoon cleaning the family room from top to bottom as it was filthy. This time it was saw dust, last week it was soot. I am beginning to tire of the mess. The two guys who put in the windows and doors were super nice, but one of them wasn't as tidy as the other. Now this is my opinion so feel free to give me yours, the guy who wasn't tidy is a bachelor in his late 40's to early 50's. When he was eating or drinking he dropped crumbs everywhere and slurped his coffee. He walked through the house with his muddy boots on. I found he made a mess where he was working. I tend to find men who are married tend to be a bit more tidier when they are working around the house......otherwise they get heck from their wives!!!

I know I owe you photos of the windows and patio doors, but don't have the energy tonight. Dh got a bit more of the plaster and lathe pulled off on Thursday night. We are going to burn the wood on Sunday from the attic and from putting the windows in. Saves us having to pay to have it removed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Skywatch Friday......

These photos were taken on Wednesday night (10th) around 9:15pm. It was a beautiful sunset.



For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on this link

Wednesday at the Acreage.........

Now as I am writing this I am either going to be high as a kite, or end up with a migraine, not sure which at the moment!!! The reason being is that we had the new windows and patio doors installed today, and the smell is wicked/nasty. Not sure what its coming from, but it has to do with the window and doors. They look awesome and such a difference from the old ones. They have to do the trim and finishing off on Thursday and I will then post some photos.

I saw a woodpecker tonight, but by the time I had gone to get my camera it had flown away. I also saw a beautiful red cardinal the other day, again the same thing, by the time I had got my camera it had flown away.

We need to get a skylight installed in the attic, so dh pulled off some of the plaster and lathe so we could see how big the gaps were between the wood. What a nasty dirty job, but he got an awful lot pulled off in an hour.

I got the rest of the field cut without being attacked by birds and other wildlife. Its a short post today as its been a busy day........

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Danger pay and tree frogs.......

I have decided I need danger pay when cutting the grass, as not only does my butt hurt, but the Purple Martins have now decided it is fun to dive bomb me and frighten me half to death by swooping down in front of the tractor. Like what if one makes a mistake and I end killing one??? I may be many things, but I am not a murderer!! It wouldn't be so bad, but these Purple Martins should be nice to me, as I have just put up a condo for them, so technically I am their landlord!! I have taken to wearing my coat with my hood up, one because its cold, and two I don't want those birds pooping on my head!!!

My dad was over on Tuesday and he brought me the martin house that he had made. Here are a couple of photos:



Isn't it cute? I'll let you know when I see the first load of washing hung out to dry, then I'll know when the first residents have moved in. There are a total of 18 holes, so that should be good. The pole was already there, it just needs painting, but I think that will have to wait until next year, its not a priority.

Now on Tuesday I was talking to a delightful British woman "H" who works in the fireplace store and to cut a long and boring story short, we got talking about the wildlife around here. She lives further north than I do, I forgot to ask her exactly where, anyhow it doesn't matter. As most of you know who have been reading my blog for a while I am terrified of frogs, its a back to my childhood thing. Anyway "H" mentioned we have tree frogs up here???? I mean I have heard of tree frogs in the Amazon, but didn't realise we have tree frogs here in Southern Ontario. Why would a frog want to live up a tree? The whole thing puzzles me, and concerns me at the same time, as when I am walking by a tree, should I be concerned about a tree frog jumping out at me???

Then she got on about the no see um's. Remember we were plagued with them when we went on vacation to South Carolina. Somehow I had convinced myself they were a Southern United States thing, apparently not. Between me and you all this stuff is starting to concern me and I think I need to go out and purchase protective gear against dive bombing birds, frogs jumping out of trees and various biting insects. My poor old body is in danger otherwise!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A thank you and other things.......

I know I don't say this often enough to you all but I truly do appreciate the time you take out of your day to pop by and read my little old blog. For those of you who comment, an extra thank you.

I have been having trouble accessing some peoples blogs for some reason. Ds is coming down on June 20th, so may get him to do a once over on the computer just to see what's what. When I get my Internet bill in, which should be in the next week or so, I will be able to assess how much time I can spend on the computer. I have been trying to limit my time, as I am not sure how much it is going to cost, and with money flowing out of this house like water at the moment, we need to count every penny!!!

It was another cool and wet day on Monday, although I did manage to get a load of laundry dry outside in the morning. I picked more rhubarb and made a apple and rhubarb crisp using this recipe. It was okay, nothing overly exciting, but another way of using up rhubarb. Mind you I put another couple of bags in the the freezer, plus there is still a pile to cut yet.

Otherwise Monday was a super quiet day, that I mainly spent in the house. It was actually relaxing, not having to go outside to garden. I have to say though with having wooden floors throughout the house, I am finding the dust bunnies sprouting overnight. I tend to Swiffer my floors, and am finding I could do it daily, with the amount of dust that accumulates. It shows you how much dust a carpet can hold that's for sure.

Not sure if we should go out and buy rugs to put down, as I don't want to fully cover the wooden floors. Do you have wooden floors and if so do you find it warm enough through the winter?

Also ran into the mail lady today, who has been delivering the mail in our area for 52 years. The new mail box we put in is the first new mail box in many, many years on this property. She was a wealth of information and had some stories to tell that's for sure.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Odds and ends at the acreage.......

Its gone cold again, I suppose that's nothing new is it? The house is cold again, but I am refusing point blank to put the heating on, its the end of the first week of June for goodness sakes. I was looking at the long range forecast and it should be getting warmer soon!!

All this wet cool weather is making my grass grow like crazy, which in turn means I have to cut it more and more. I think it must be something to do with us being British, but we like nice grass. It gives me great pride to look at a freshly cut lawn. Even though our lawn is full of thistles and dandelions.

Sunday I actually got a couple little jobs done which included writing a long overdue letter to our neighbour in Britain and some emails. Its funny I rarely send a letter now and honestly its such a shame. I remember when we came to Canada, I was always writing letters. I think its a dying art letter writing. Do you write letters, or just send emails? However I must admit, with the price of postage its a lot cheaper to email people.

For the Canadian's out there, I finally managed to get my Bell Canada accounts, for the phone, internet and tv all bundled together. It has taken me the past three weeks and numerous phone calls to get this sorted. I thought they would send me to an early grave with their lack of help. So if you have to deal with them don't give up, its not a total lost cause!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today's Flower

Today's Flowers are a pretty purple colour, enjoy!!



The photo below is turned on it side for some reason, no idea why???


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

That British Woman and the crazy bird.......

No That British Woman isn't a crazy bird, well not yet!!! However if the bird below continues with its antics, I may well be a crazy old bird sooner than I thought I would.

That dear bird is only one of a family of the same birdies who are driving me to an early grave. I have no idea what breed of bird it is, but they walk around the ground a lot, and they squawk like mad, generally at me!

I was digging another veggie patch and they supervised me the whole time, squawking like mad. When I was cutting the grass they were going mad. I looked around to see if there was a nest but I couldn't see one. I have tried to talking to them nicely, even taken to yelling at them to shut up, all to no avail. If someone had told me a month or two ago I would be talking to the birds, I would have thought they were crazy!!!

Anyhow when I had finished cutting and watering, I decided to take a photo of the dratted birds, only to discover all but one of them had disappeared. So I decide to take a photo of the one that was left. Now they had been very close to me when I was in the garden and were obviously not frightened of me. So I walk up to the bird, and it flies away. Fine, I get one photo, and decide to go inside. As I am walking back to the house, it flies by and settles on the grass a little way from me, so I turn around to take its photo and it flies away, so I start walking back to the house, and the same happens again, it flies close to me, then as I turn to take its photo, it flies away. The bird does this a couple of more times, and by this time I have had enough.

I also had a close encounter with either House Martin's or Swallows, as they were diving for bugs, and I was cutting the lawn.....

I must say there is never a dull moment in the country!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday - a day out from the Acreage....

It was dd Convocation on Thursday, where she received her Master of Information Studies degree at the University of Toronto. Here she is being congratulated by the Chancellor David Peterson.

For privacy reasons, I won't be showing her face.......

The person getting the Honorary Degree was MOYEZ VASSANJI, he's a writer and has received numerous awards. I personally have never heard of him but his book "The In-Between World of Vickram Lall" sounds pretty interesting.


The Convocation Hall where the ceremony was held was a beautiful building, that was built between 1904 and 1907. My photo does not do it justice.



As convocation's go it was a pretty standard one. The only difference being there was a wider age group receiving their degrees, as not only were people receiving degrees in Masters, but also Doctorates. A first for me though, was there were two women receiving Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and they were sitting breast feeding during the ceremony. I can't imagine writing papers, and studying while being pregnant, and giving birth and looking after a baby?

It was a lovely ceremony though and after the ceremony we went out for dinner. We took the subway back home to dd and drove home from there. I must admit it was strange to be amongst all the traffic and people. Plus it was strange not to be in jogging pants and running shoes!! We got home around 8pm, and I was pooped. I do have a lot more photos that I will share with you over the coming days.

Today (Friday) is going to be a busy day, I will share with you tomorrow what we are up to.......

Friday on the Acreage with photos.......

Busy old day on the Acreage, not in the garden, but in the house. The fireplace guys came to put the new insert in. I should mention that the stones on the fireplace were all black before we cleaned them. The fireplace was sooting like made it seems.

Here is the before photo.

Here is the after photo:

Now, although it is okay I am not in love with it. First of all the door has to be changed, as I had ordered brushed nickel and this is apparently nickel, although it looks like chrome to me? Because the fireplace is field stone, they couldn't put the finishing framework on it, so they adapted it to sort of fit. So I am now going to have to get some custom metalwork made for above the fire insert, so it looks more finished. Click on the photo to see more detail. The two vents below the mantel shelf, and the two fan vents beside the bottom of the insert, are going. Dh is going to do the electrical on it, as it needs to be plugged in for the fan to work. When we get it finished off, we will be happy, until then though no!!!

Now I moved everything to the other end of the family room, and I said to the guy should I throw drop sheets over everything. The guy says no I won't make a mess. Why oh why did I not listen to my gut instinct, rather to a guy!!! EVERYTHING was covered in a thin layer of soot :0(

So I spent a couple of hours after they left cleaning out the family room, which was fine I suppose as it needed done, but even so....

Anyhow here are a couple of photos of the family room.



We are getting the new windows and patio doors not next week but the week after, I called them today to whine on about the lack of seeing the roofing guys AGAIN!!! So got them to find out when the windows and doors are coming.

Behind that horrible wood paneling is drywall/plasterboard. So we'll pull off the wood panelling and finish off the drywall, and just paint it a light colour. We are going to pull out the railing to the basement, not sure if you can see it or not, and put a drywall half wall there instead. The reason behind that is that dh will be able to put electrical sockets in there.

Now the photo below shows you the one wall of the family room, which was once the outside wall of the house, neat eh? Don't panic, we're not touching that, its nice as is.



So due to all this activity, I never got into the garden other than to water my veggies at night. Mind you it turns out there is black flies here, as I have two huge bites on my arm and they are killing me, the fireplace guys were telling me what they were, as I was scratching them. I need to keep putting after bite on them, so I don't scratch them red raw.

I have a funny story about black flies and a dippy British woman!!! The shortened version of it is the first time me, dh and ds encountered black flies, we had no idea what they were. I thought they were mutant midges with teeth, as dh was bleeding like crazy behind his ear. It wasn't until we were relating the story of this mutant midges, that someone said they were black flies. You know the funny thing though the local person we were with at the time barely swatted them, whereas we were constantly batting ourselves, infact I gave up and went back into the car. So I am guessing after being bitten X amount of times, you must get immune to them? PLEASE, PLEASE tell me that's right?

Well that's enough rambling from me!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Photos from the Acreage

Well today I have lots of photos to share.

First one is of one of the garden beds. Its so overgrown I really don't know where to start, click on it to enlarge it, but what do you suggest? My first thought was to pull everything out and start again?

Here are a couple of photos of my veggie patch. So far I have potatoes, 4 yellow pepper plants, 4 cabbage plants, 4 brussel sprouts plants, 4 zucchini plants, a few salad onion plants. My dad is bringing me some lettuce plants next week. I know its not a lot, but it's better than nothing at this point!!

One of my goals is to dig out all the weeds between the veggie garden and the rhubarb patch, so I can have a lot bigger veggie patch next year. I think doing all the hard work this year will make it easier for next year.

This is my tree nursery next to my rhubarb patch. You may have to enlarge the photo to see the little saplings, as they are so small. I will probably be in a wheelchair before they reach any height!!!!

The three trees in a row are my fruit trees. I don't expect any fruit off them for a couple of years yet. I did see a nice Macintosh Apple tree at the garden centre the other day, so I might see if I can find the money to get that to add to my collection.
Dh has been busy cutting all the long grass with the brush cutter these last few nights. He has the south side cut, the west side cut and has made a start on the north side. Dd is coming over on Saturday, so I am hoping she will cut the east side, as she worked doing lawn maintenance for three summers while in University, so she is an expert at it!!
While cutting Kamikaze Hill on Wednesday I saw my first deer. Which turned out to be a blessing, as it took my mind off what I was actually doing, as that hill still terrifies me. Oh and the roofing guys did not turn up today {{{SIGH}}} so I guess I will have to get on the phone to "K" to see what's going on!

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