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

Monday, August 31, 2009

A couple of photos of Molly......

The first one isn't in focus sorry, but it shows Molly's favourite toy, her Hedgehog, she takes it to bed with her on a night. I had to resew its nose as she chewed it off.

This is Molly sitting on the sofa. I was shocked to see her jump on the sofa, as she normally only does it when dh is about, as I shout at her to get down. Mind you with those eyes, how can you refuse her anything?

Though saying that on Monday she was driving me crazy with her barking. I was cutting the lawn and had her tied up, but she wouldn't stop barking, at what I have no idea.

I have been letting her wander about on the back deck, by blocking off the steps with the patio chairs. Well today she "escaped," fortunately she didn't wander too far and I was able to catch her without having to run after her. So until dh makes a proper gate for the back deck, I can't let her off the leash.

When we first got her, although she is short haired she shed like a crazy person. I am pleased to say that seems to have come to a stop, not that there isn't dog hair on the floor, it's pretty minimal, which is good.

Can't believe its September today, where have the last four months gone too, as we moved into this house on May 1st, 2009. I am finally beginning to see a difference, and can see where some of our hard work has gone to. I will have a before and after photo on Friday for you.

They have gone and changed the time for Coronation Street to 6:30pm now, what the heck??? What a stupid time of day. Luckily we can pick up the channels from out west, so I'll have to find it on one of those to watch at a later time. Its bad enough that Eastenders is on at either 12 noon or 4pm, but to move Coronation Street is just not on!!! At that........Gill stomps off in a strop!!

The Summer that wasn't.......

Well here we are on the last day of August and honestly Fall is here. Poor dh has had to have his blanket put back on his side of the bed. Me, I'm always too hot, so never need a blanket.

Now normally I take the blanket off at the beginning of May, this year it was on until mid-June. I normally put it back on the bed by mid to late September, but its been much too cold for dh, so we had to put it back on.

I am hoping to hold off putting the heating back on until the end of September, but don't hold out much hope. We had the heating on, on June 1st, which is a month later than we normally have it on. We are still in double digits in the morning, but I am guessing frost will be here soon. I have had to put my jogging pants on, gone are the shorts.

I prefer the cooler temperatures, so I am not complaining, but a lot of people are wondering where the summer went too? The Fall is my favourite season of the year. I got more work done on the fireplace on the weekend, and it should be completely finished by Thursday. We have the guy coming by on Tuesday night to give us a certificate for our insurance for the fireplace. Then in the next week or so, we have to have a fire in the fireplace, to burn off the "new smell." We need to do that on a day when we can have the doors and windows open as its supposed to be stinky. I remember doing the same thing with the gas fire in our last two homes.

An update from yesterday. I left a note at our neighbours house regarding plowing the snow on our driveway. This we think will be the best way to go. We'll have to see if he gets back to me, and see how much he charges.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today's Flower

Today it's yellow flowers. These ones are huge, taller than me, so around 6 feet tall. I inherited a couple clumps of these which are providing a bright spot in the gardens.




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

Need some advise......

I was in Bulk Barn last week and all the Halloween candy was out????

I was in Michael's yesterday and all their Halloween stuff is out.

In the newspaper on Saturday there was this article about Christmas things in the stores already!!!

Then in the flyer's the snow blowers are in the Sears and Canadian Tire flyer's. Which brings me to the advise I need, we have a Craftsman lawn tractor. We have the choice of putting this snow blower attachment on the front of the tractor, or this snow blade attachment As you can see there is a big difference in the price. Plus we have to buy weights for the back of the tractor which will be another $300 to $400 and snow chains for the tires which will be another $100.

Our driveway is a "P" shape and is at least 300 feet long. We have a snow blower like this one but feel its not big enough for the driveway, but will do in a push. The problem with that though is I have a hard time using it. Now one of our neighbours does plowing and I am sure if I have a word with him, he would plow us out when its bad. No idea how much he charges, even if its $30 a time, we can have him come a lot of times and it still not cost as much as buying the snow blower attachment.

So what would you do? What works the best for you? We don't have the $2,000 for the snow blower attachment. I am going to look online to see if I can get them second hand, but not sure if I'll be successful.

On Saturday we went to another Home Depot store, one we hadn't been too before and they were selling off some of their rental equipment. They had a couple of roto tiller's, mid-sized ones Honda brand and they were selling them at around $650 each. They are three years old and are over $1,500 new. Dh mentioned to the guy that he would buy one if he could get it for $500 and a six month guarantee. The guy took all our info and said he would talk to his boss about it. We had planned on buying one as a gift to one another for Christmas, as we really want to expand our veggie garden for next year. I'll let you know if this all comes to fruition.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A bit of good news for a change..........

Back in this post I mentioned we were filing for a re-assessment of the property taxes, as we thought they were assessed to high. Well on Friday we finally got a letter from the board and they have dropped our assessed value of the house by $80,000. What that translates to is about an $18 a month decrease in our taxes. Now that may not seem like a lot its a heck of a lot better than it was. It also means that by 2012 instead of paying well over $425 a month, we should be only paying around $375. So it was well worth doing. We still have to sign the paperwork and mail it in. Now our township can fight this, but fingers crossed they don't.

Also we got our hydro bill in this week and it was just over $30. We had been over billed on the prior two billings, and this was an actual reading. Anyhow, when I called them to talk to them, the guy suggested I use the call in feature and I can call them with a meter reading every month to get a correct bill each month. He gave me the dates to call for the rest of the year, and I wrote that down on the calendar. Its a digital meter so it is easy to read.

Friday was spent cleaning house and doing some tidying up. I love it when the house looks tidy. I was supposed to do some more work on fireplace, but ended up not feeling good. I ended up having a horrible headache, probably a migraine. No idea what brought that on, but it knocked me for six. We ended up with rain so maybe it was a barometric pressure headache? As I am writing this I'm still not feeling good, so that's why it is such a short post, sorry!

Buddy Friday 50 + 1 uses for Lemon Juice

There are all sorts of things you can use lemon juice for, here are some:

1. Mix up a tough solution of lemon juice and tap water, and your stove, countertops and appliances will be shining like new. Pour a quarter of a cup of lemon juice in a spray bottle, then fill it up with tap water. Shake it a few times to mix the solution, then use it to remove stubborn grease.

2. To give your hair a healthy shine, mix up a quarter cup of lemon juice in a cup of water and rinse your hair with it.

3. Disinfect Your Kitchen Cutting Board . You diced up some onion, and then some poultry for tonight's dinner on your cutting board. Once you were done, you washed it in hot, sudsy water, but is your cutting board really clean? If you spray it lightly with pure lemon juice, then rinse it well. Allow the cutting board to dry thoroughly before you put it away, the bacteria- as well as the onion odors- should be gone.

4. Remove Tarnish From Copper and Brass mix up a quarter cup of table salt and just enough lemon juice to make a paste. Then, apply a coating of this onto any tarnished copper or brass pots, pans and other items you may have. Leave the lemon juice/salt paste set for five to ten minutes. Next, wash the item in warm tap water and then rinse it well. Use a soft, clean cloth to buff it dry. If any tarnish remains, repeat the process again.

5. Write with invisible ink. Use a Q-tip as a pen to write in lemon juice on a piece of white paper. Once it dries, hold the paper near a hot light bulb. The writing will turn brown.

6. To remove fruit or berry stains from your hands, rinse hands with lemon juice.

7. Anytime someone in your household gets constipated, just pour two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into an eight-ounce glass of warm water. Drink it in the morning when you first get up. The citrus juice will help regulate your digestive system.

8. Silence a Hacking Cough and Heal a Sore. Simply mix up two teaspoons of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of honey together. Swallow the mixture and you should feel better soon. Repeat the process, if need be, in thirty minutes.

9. Eliminate blackheads, rub lemon juice over blackheads before going to bed. Wait until morning to wash off the juice with cool water. Repeat for several nights until you see a big improvement in the skin.

10. Remove rust and mineral discolorations on cotton t-shirts and briefs, use one cup of lemon juice in the washer.

11. Remove ink spots from clothing, while ink is wet, apply lemon juice liberally to the spot, and then wash the garment in normal cycle with regular detergent in cold water.

12. Remove Sticky Pine Tar From Your Hands with a mixture of lemon juice and table salt. The pine tar come right off!

13. Get rid of dandruff. Apply one tablespoon of lemon juice to your hair. Shampoo, then rinse with water. Rinse again with a mixture of two tablespoons lemon juice and two cups water. Repeat every other day until dandruff disappears.

14. Whiten, brighten, and strengthen fingernails, soak fingernails in lemon juice for ten minutes, then brush with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Rinse well.

15. Relieve poison ivy by applying lemon juice over the affected areas should soothe itching and alleviate the rash.

16. Clean a microwave oven by adding four tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup water in a microwave-safe, four-cup bowl. Boil for five minutes in the microwave, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls of the oven. Then wipe clean.

17. Clear up facial blemishes, dab lemon juice on the blemish a few times a day.

18. Poached fish will be firmer and whiter if you add lemon juice to the cooking liquid.

19. Relieve rough hands or sore feet by applying lemon juice, rinse, then massage with olive oil.

20. Stop bleeding and disinfect minor wounds. Pour lemon juice on a cut or apply with a cotton ball.

21. Eliminate odors in your humidifier by pouring three or four teaspoons of lemon juice into the water

22. Train a dog to stop barking, by squirting some lemon juice in the dog's mouth and say "Quiet."

23. Stir a tablespoon of lemon juice into a cup of fresh, sweet milk when you need a substitute for sour cream or buttermilk.

24. Discolored socks will look white again if you boil them for a few minutes in a pan of water with a slice of lemon in it.

25. To shine smooth aluminum, rub it with the cut side of a lemon.

26. Rub a lemon wedge over your teeth and tongue to get rid of bad breath.

27. Sip hot water and lemon after a night of drinking to help cleanse the liver and get a boost of Vitamin C.

28. Mix 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 ¼ cup lemon juice and 12 cups water to create your own eco-friendly bleach.

29. Easily remove food residue from copper pans with a combination of salt and lemon

30. To freshen a stinky garbage disposal, slice a medium sized lemon into the disposal and turn on the disposal with running water until the lemon is gone.

31. Combine apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to heal scorched skin. The lemon acts as a disinfectant to help heal the sunburn.

32. To clean grout around tiles, apply lemon juice and water with a toothbrush and scrub.

33. To clean glass shower doors, apply lemon juice with a sponge. Dry with newspapers for a sparkling shine

34. To freshen the air, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the vacuum cleaner bag before vacuuming.

35. To freshen the air, place a teaspoon of cinnamon over lemon slices and cover with water. Simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes on medium heat.

36. To make your own furniture polish that is much better for the wood than what you can buy, prepare enough for a single preparation (make fresh each time you use it.) Mix the juice of one lemon, one teaspoon olive oil and a teaspoon of water. Apply a thin coat to furniture and buff to a deep shine.

37. Remove soft cheese or other sticky foods from a grater by rubbing both sides of the grater with the pulp side of a cut lemon.

38. Add half a lemon to the dishwasher load for sparkling spot-free clean smelling dishes.

39. Sliced apples and pears that come into contact with air for too long tend to brown on the outside. To prevent the discolor, sprinkle some lemon juice over the fruit.

40. Fade tea stains on cloth by diluting lemon juice with an equal amount of water. Use an eyedropper or a Q-tip to make sure the juice targets the stain. Thoroughly flush with cool water.

41. Create a wonderful natural air freshener by mixing lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Also, just placing a half a lemon in a dish can help freshen a room.

42. Remove mildew with lemon Juice - Pour lemon juice on the affected area, and then rub table salt on it. Place the garment in the sun for a couple of hours, and then launder it as usual.

43. Make your own all-purpose cleaning solution. Combine lemon juice, vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

44. To clean drains, mix hot lemon juice and baking soda to clean out and freshen drains. Safe for septic systems.

45. Eliminating stains with Lemon Juice - Soak a sponge in lemon juice and sponge the stain. Rinse the clothing in water, then blot out excess moisture and let the clothing air-dry. Finally, apply a laundry pre-treat solution and wash the garment in warm water. For very stubborn stains, soak the clothing in detergent, for about 45 minutes, and then wash it again.

46. Lemon juice can dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits

47. For chapped lips create a mixture of 1 teaspoon lemon juice and honey and then rub it onto your lips several times a day.

48. When you skin feels dry and it needs rejuvenating or you just want to give it that smooth, clean feeling use a natural skin lotion made from lemon juice. Mix equal amounts of honey, vegetable oil and lemon juice and massage this into and areas that feel dry, especially your hands, face, elbows and feet. Leave the mixture on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.

49. Create your own natural face scrub using lemon juice, cold milk and either ground up orange peel or oatmeal. Mix these ingredients together to form a paste and then rub it onto your face, carefully avoiding your eyes. Rinse it off with warm water and then pat dry. This natural face scrub will unclog your pores and leave your skin feeling smooth and fresh.

50. After washing glassware rinse them in water that has a few lemon skins in it. The acid from the lemons will make the glasses sparkle.

51. Create you own hand lotion which you can use as often as you want to need to. Combine 2 parts fresh lemon juice with 3 parts honey and 4 parts almond oil. Massage the mixture into hands and leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with vinegar and water. This completely natural & inexpensive hand lotion will leave your hands feeling silky smooth and can also be stored in a container for up to 3 weeks.

There are a couple of things I wouldn't mind trying. Hope there are a few useful things in there for you to try?

For more Buddy Friday posts, please check out Margaret's Ramblings.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday - Jelly fish in the sky.......

You will need to click on the photos for more detail, but these clouds (especially in the first photo), reminded me of jelly fish; with the more solid cloud on top and the wispy clouds underneath them. What do you think?



For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on this link

Busy day here at the Acreage.........

I had a busy day on the Acreage. I decided it was time to use up the bits and bobs in the fridge. I had some apples that needed stewing, so I stewed them. I baked Carrot Zucchini Muffins, the recipe is here I forgot though to take photos, sorry. I gave half a dozen to the mail lady and some potatoes, and she gave me another 4 cucumbers. Not sure what I am going to do with them?

I had a cauliflower to use up, so made cauliflower with cheese sauce and it was so good.


I also roasted some of the potatoes with olive oil, garlic and red onions. They were so good.
Here are my small potatoes blanched and ready for the freezer. I am hoping they will be good for Christmas Day lunch, I'll let you know then!!

I got a lot more grass cut, so only have half of Kamikaze Hill to do then I am done for another week. I planted a couple rows of spinach, they take 30 days to grow, so hopefully I'll get a crop before the first frost.

It was a lovely day on Wednesday with no humidity at all, and temperatures in the low 20's, just perfect. Dh was in fact a little cool, and threw a fleece blanket over him while he slept/watched the news!! That poor man hasn't seen a full episode of the news in years, he always falls asleep part way through. Mind you if you'd been on the go since 4.20am, by 6pm you'll no doubt be tired!!

I put the rest of the potatoes down the old basement, as the windows are all blocked up, so there is no natural light down there. I am hoping I won't have to buy potatoes until at least Christmas.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Photos, and for the women out there, you're going to LOVE (not) this one!!!!

Tuesday was a super busy day for me, and I spent most of it outside in the garden. Ds came over and he trimmed half the border of the property with the whipper snipper, which was such a help to us.

One of the first jobs of the day was to dig up all the potatoes as the tops were dying. I was pleased with what I got, and am hoping to blanch the bowl of small potatoes and freeze them so we can eat them on Christmas Day. However when I was looking through a recipe book regarding this, they don't recommend freezing uncooked potatoes? My Aunt in England does this though with great success? Any tips from you?

I also did some weeding while I was in the veggie plot and had another trailer load of weeds. I cleaned out the butternut squash bed, and am pleased to say I have plenty of flowers on the plants, but no butternut squash as yet. Still I am hopeful. Remember I hadn't planned on doing a veggie garden at all this year!!

I also laid down some black weed barrier between the veggie gardens to kill the weeds in the hopes by October I can dig some more land for vegetables for next year.

I also cleaned out my tree nursery, only to discover I only have two trees left and they don't seem to be growing that well? Still they were free, so I'm not out of pocket.

Here is a photo of my grapes, there seem to be quite a few bunches, not sure what I am going to do with them though?

Remember last week when I took some photos of the combining in the field opposite us, it was in this post. Well Jim is now baling hay, and we were watching this while we were eating our supper. Here are a couple of photos:


A sheik "explains" the differences between men and women's brains (I am rolling my eyes, just writing this, as I have watched this) I first saw this over at Crafty Mamas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5KmIXZM-V8&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Ftimesonline%2Etypepad%2Ecom%2Fcomment%2F2009%2F08%2Fthesexes%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded

I am actually lost for words for a change, with this. Don't you just want to smack him over the head or tell his mother to do it!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What to talk about on Tuesday.......

honestly I have drawn a blank, which is strange as I normally have lots to say!!

I did learn something the other day, which may be of interest. When cutting the grass, keep your mouth closed. Why you ask......well it's grasshopper season and if they jump and you have your mouth open they can get into your mouth........how I know this, yep it happened to me....icky, icky, icky!!

Molly is going to drive me to an early grave......as she is a beagle I can't let her off the leash, as she will wander off. So I have her on an extra long lead when she is outside, but she is forever getting tangled up around things. I always thought dogs were intelligent, but not this one!! Then she insists on getting under the deck of the mudroom where the previous owners threw all their construction garbage. So I have to clean that all out, not a job I am looking forward to doing. There are obviously mice under there which is what is attracting her to there.

Glorious day on Monday, no humidity at all and the temperature was perfect. Got a bit of grass cut and even got some cleaning done, including cleaning the family room windows. I have found my motivation lacking for cleaning the house recently, so hopefully if this cooler weather holds, I will be more inclined to clean the house.

Do you do Spring and Fall/Back end cleaning in your house? I don't, I know I should but honestly with all the renovations we're doing, its a total waste of time!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Are your cabbages ready yet?

I only planted four, so I will not exactly be overrun with them this year!! However we ate one a week or two ago, and on Sunday as it was a bit cooler I decided to make Cheats Version of Cabbage Rolls.

I must say when it goes into the oven it doesn't look that appealing, I think ds said years ago it looked as though someone had been sick, but honestly it is so good. Its also pretty cheap to make as well.

Once again it was good, and there are enough leftovers to feed us another meal, so the original one feeds 4 adults easily.

The full recipe is here and the 50 + 1 Cabbage recipe link is here

I finally finished the book, "The Secret Scripture" by Sebastian Barry, just in time for the book club meeting on September 2nd. I have to say it was hard going, I am going to be interested to see what they are going to talk about, as personally I thought it was long winded!! I am now reading "Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt", by Amanada Mackenzie Stuart, which I am sailing through, probably because its a lot more interesting!!!! I also love to read about the Vanderbilts, since we went to Biltmore Estate a couple of years ago.

I must say though I feel a bit guilty reading when there are a hundred and one other things that need to be done, but I figure they'll still be there the next day, so whatever!!!! Oh and in the Toronto Star on Saturday it mentioned this book: "Middle-Aged Spread: Moving to the Country at 50," by Sonia Day. This book could so be about me and dh, as part of the info printed in the Star says:

"Before her move to the country, Day and her husband "Logbook Man" are heading towards the "dreaded expecteds" a phrase coined by actress Marilyn Lightstone and used to great effect in this book: the time of married life when couples run out of conversation and stare at each other blankly. Buying a dilapidated home far away from the city centre cures Day and her husband of that problem. Money woes, renovation woes, animal infestations and culture shock will keep them in conversation "till death do us part."

Seriously this could be us, as I have talked about running out of money, renovations, well don't get me started with that, as everytime we tackle something, something else happens. Oh and the animal infestations. Well so far its been ANTS, BLUEBOTTLE'S, MICE and goodness knows what else!! The only thing I haven't been to concerned about is the culture shock, although I do have issues with city time and country time!!! I really must see if I can order this through the library.......


Dd got tickets given for the Blue Jays baseball game on Sunday, so dh went with her. Good seats and the Jays won. However they (dh) paid $6 each for a 32 oz cup of Cola, talk about price gouging!! I was glad dh went, as it meant I didn't have to go, as it would have been as exciting as watching paint dry going to a baseball game...LOL

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another reason to shop at Shopper's Drug Mart!!! DEAL ALERT

So thanks to those dear people over at Frugal Shopper for suggesting this first of all.

This week From August 22nd until Friday August 28th, 2009 when you buy $75 or more on the following gift cards, you get 7,000 bonus points.

The gift cards are for:

iTUNES, FOOTLOCKER, ESSO, NEXON GAME, KFC, PIZZA HUT & TACO BELL

They also have a special on where if you spend $75.00 you get a bonus of 15,000 points up to and including Monday August 24th. When I went into the store this morning I set off with 52,505 points and when I walked out of there my points total was 95085, so all in all i got 42,580, which is worth $100 in free stuff on a bonus redemption day and it cost me $316.61.

So here is how I did it.

I first bought $300 in Shopper's Drug Gift cards, for that I got 3,000 points. When they tell you, you won't get points for doing this ignore them, YOU DO!!

I then did three separate transactions buying $75 worth of Esso gift cards using the Shopper's Gift cards to purchase them, again if they say they can't do that, tell them they can and to try it!! Each transaction garnered me 750 regular points, and 7,000 bonus points.

So, so far I have got :

300o points x 1
750 points x 3
7,000 points x 3

I then spent $83.21 plus taxes on my regular shopping which garnered me, 15,000 bonus points as I spent over $75 pre-tax, 850 regular points and 480 product bonus points.

So now I have:

3000 points x 1 = 3000
750 points x 3 = 2250
7000 points x 3 = 21000
15000 points x 1 = 15000
850 points x 1 = 850
480 points x 1 = 480

For a total of 42,580 points.

Now if you go to the Esso gas station they have numerous gift cards which you can buy for various places including Home Depot, La Senza, East Side Marios & Marks Work Wearhouse. So if you don't want to use them for gas you could "buy" one of those using the Esso gift card.

In my case, I bought $75 of Esso cards for me, as my lawn tractor gas containers cost me around $35 to fill each time, so they will come in handy. The other $150 I am going to buy some other cards with them and use them for Christmas gifts.

The gist of this story is I spent just over $300, I have some Christmas presents taken care of and I will be getting an extra $100 worth of free stuff from Shopper's at the next bonus redemption.

There are Sunday and Monday specials on as well. Plus sugar is only $1.49 per bag until next Friday.

Today's Flower and other odds and ends

I popped some Morning Glory seeds in an old frozen yogurt container and put them outside, not knowing if they would grow or not. Here are the results, I had hoped they would grow large enough to drape over the old gate, but I guess not?
(click on the photos for more detail)










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

I had another first on Saturday, I made cement as we put the second hearth in to bring the fireplace up to code. Its not finished yet, so I will take photos when we are finished, which should hopefully be this week.

Got more problems with my car..........this time the a/c. Luckily dh thinks he can mend it himself, as this problem has happened before.

Had a company bbq for the company I work for occasionally on Saturday............and they picked on me!!!! So if they are reading this I AM NOT COMING TO ANYMORE BBQ'S!!! LOL Don't worry I WILL make them suffer next time I am in work!!! Believe me THEY WILL SUFFER!!

Otherwise Saturday was pretty uneventful......

Saturday, August 22, 2009

WOW....101 followers, that's amazing; and other odds and ends

I can't believe it 101 people are now following me. I want to thank you one and all; I feel honoured that you would take the time out of your busy days to pop by. I would ask one thing though, please feel free to comment and give me any suggestions that you would like me to write about.

I am sure I have mentioned our mail lady before. She has been delivering the mail for 54 years, and she is a super lady. I also mentioned her and her husband came over to pick some raspberries. Well on Thursday she popped in with three cucumbers. So I decided to make the "Award Winning Cucumber Salad" recipe that was featured in my 50 + 1 Cucumber recipe post.
I have to say it was really good and will make it again.
She also gave me an African Violet that she had grown from a leaf. She obviously has a green thumb, as it is so healthy.


One of our big news story is the nasty weather we had on Thursday afternoon. We had a couple of tornado's touch down and dh saw the back end of the tornado in Vaughan, as he was just leaving work. We managed to miss the worst of it on The Acreage and only had a couple of small branches down. The biggest inconvenience for me was the satellite went out while Coronation Street was on. Sadly though 44 people have lost their homes in Vaughan due to the weather and one person was killed, see here for more details.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Buddy Friday - 50 + 1 different uses for Vinegar

First let me say there are hundred's of different uses for plain old vinegar, here are some I thought we worth mentioning.

1. To freshen up a washing machine, clean the hoses and unclog the soap scum, once a month pour one cup of vinegar in the machine and run it through a normal cycle without the clothes in it.

2. If a sponge, flannel or dishcloth becomes slimy or smelly, soak overnight in a solution of half vinegar/half water. Rinse in clear water and leave to dry.

3. Remove cooking smells from hands by rinsing them with vinegar and then wash thoroughly with soap and water.

4. Collars and cuffs can be cleaned by rubbing a thick paste of baking soda and vinegar onto the stains before washing in the usual way.

5. Perspiration marks can be eliminated by soaking them with vinegar before laundering in the usual way.

6. If you are baking and find you are short of an egg, as long as the recipe contains another rising agent (e.g. baking powder or self raising flour) the egg can be replaced with 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar. (THIS IS A NEW ONE FOR ME, I DIDN'T KNOW THIS)

7. To prevent the white of an egg spreading during poaching add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a shallow pan of boiling water.

8. To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.

9. Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.

10. Get rid of lime deposits in a tea kettle by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the water and letting it sit overnight. If more drastic action is needed, boil full-strength white distilled vinegar in the kettle a few minutes, let cool and rinse with plain water.

11. Remove stains from coffee and teacups by scrubbing them gently with equal parts of salt (or baking soda) and white distilled vinegar. Rinse clean.

12. Polish brass and copper with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar. Rub it on with a clean cloth until dry and shiny. (I HAVE SOME BRASS THAT NEEDS CLEANING SO WILL GIVE THIS A TRY)

13. Clean grout by letting full-strength white distilled vinegar sit on it for a few minutes and scrubbing it with an old toothbrush.

14. Spray shower doors with full-strength white distilled vinegar after you’ve squeegeed the glass, or before you step in and turn on the water. It will help release the hard water deposits so they don’t remain on the glass.

15. To make the toilet bowl sparkle, pour in a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with the toilet brush and flush.

16. Clean up pet accidents by first blotting up the area and then adding a white distilled vinegar-and-water solution. Blot until it is almost dry. Then sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day.

17. Remove fireplace soot and grime with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Use a brush to scrub and a towel to blot up the wetness and dirt.

18. Clean fireplace glass doors with a solution of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 2 parts water. Spray or wipe on, then wipe clean with a dry cloth.

19. To clean and disinfect baby toys add a good-sized splash of white distilled vinegar to soapy water.

20. Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.

21. Attack spaghetti, barbecue, or ketchup stains with a white distilled vinegar and water solution.

22. Get stained white socks and dingy dishcloths white again. Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil and drop in the articles. Let soak overnight.

23. Get water and salt stains off shoes and boots by wiping them down with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.

24. Get rid of the tiny holes left along the hemline when you take out the hem of any garment by moistening a cloth with white distilled vinegar, placing it under the fabric and ironing.

25. Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew.

26. Remove scorch marks from an iron by rubbing it with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. If that doesn’t work, use a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.

27. Attack spaghetti, barbecue, or ketchup stains with a white distilled vinegar and water solution.

28. Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.

29. Increase the acidity of soil by adding white distilled vinegar to your watering can.

30. Keep rabbits from eating your plants. Put cotton balls soaked in white distilled vinegar in a 35mm film container. Poke a hole in the top and place in the garden.

31. Clean a hummingbird feeder with white distilled vinegar—soap or detergent can leave behind harmful residue.

32. Get rid of rust on spigots, tools, screws or bolts by soaking the items overnight or for several days in undiluted white distilled vinegar.

33. Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to a quart of water in a vase.

34. Keep car windows frost-free overnight in winter by coating them with a solution of 3 parts white distilled vinegar to 1 part water.

35. Remove the leftover odor after a rider has been carsick by leaving a bowl of white distilled vinegar overnight on the floor.

36. Give leather upholstery an extra shine by cleaning it with hot white distilled vinegar and rinsing with soapy water.

37. Remove winter road salt residue on car carpeting by spraying with a mixture of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water, then blot with a soft towel.

38. Freshen wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water containing a spoonful or two of white distilled vinegar.

39. Add moistness and taste to any chocolate cake—homemade or from a box—with a spoonful of white distilled vinegar.

40. Clean a hairbrush by soaking in a white distilled vinegar solution.

41. Make nail polish last longer. Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.

42. Keep a dog from scratching its ears by wiping them out regularly with a soft cloth dipped in undiluted white distilled vinegar.

43. Kill fleas by adding a little white distilled vinegar to your dog or cat’s drinking water.

44. Cats hate the smell of vinegar. If you have a cat that is marking its territory around your house, spray the area with white distilled vinegar then rinse with a hose.

45. Remove skunk odors by wiping down the animal with a 50-50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water, followed by a plain-water rinse. Repeat if necessary.

46. Clean your window blinds. You can make the job of cleaning mini-blinds or venetians considerably less torturous by giving them "the white glove treatment." Just put on a white cotton glove -- the kind sold for gardening is perfect -- and moisten the fingers in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and hot tap water. Now simply slide your fingers across both sides of each slat and prepare to be amazed. Use a container of clean water to periodically wash off the glove.

47. Clean your computer mouse. If you have a mouse with a removable tracking ball, use a 50/50 vinegar-water solution to clean it. First, remove the ball from underneath the mouse by twisting off the cover over it. Use a cloth, dampened with the solution and wrung out, to wipe the ball clean and to remove fingerprints and dirt from the mouse itself. Then use a moistened cotton swab to clean out the gunk and debris from inside the ball chamber (let it dry a couple of hours before reinserting the ball).

48. To clear clogs in sink and tub drains, use a funnel to pour in 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar. When the foaming subsides, flush with hot tap water. Wait five minutes, and then flush again with cold water. Besides clearing blockages, this technique also washes away odor-causing bacteria.

49. To speed up a slow drain, pour in 1/2 cup salt followed by 2 cups boiling vinegar, then flush with hot and cold tap water.

50. Make your silverware -- as well as your pure silver bracelets, rings, and other jewelry -- shine like new by soaking them in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

51. When your windshield actually gets blurrier after you turn on your wipers during a rainstorm, it usually means that your wiper blades are dirty. To make them as good as new, dampen a cloth or rag with some full-strength white vinegar and run it down the full length of each blade once or twice.

There are hundred's more tips out there, these are ones I thought were useful.


F0r more Buddy Friday posts, pop by Margaret's Ramblings.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday - all I could say was WOW....

I have never seen a sky like this in my life. I took these photos around 6:30 am on Wednesday morning. It turned into a gorgeous day with little to no humidity. I am sure someone will tell me what sort of cloud this was. I couldn't get over how large that cloud cover was, and how clear it was to the north of this cloud cover.
(click on the photos for more detail)






For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on this link

Odds and Ends.......

It's one of those bits of this and bits of that post.

My dear four legged friend had me up at 4:30am on Wednesday morning as she wanted a pee. Now I have to say it was a blessing, as I saw the most gorgeous night sky ever. It was just covered in stars, I have never seen so many stars in years. With living in the city, you got a lot of light pollution and of course airplanes. This sky was just stunning. I would have taken a photo, but it was 4:30am for goodness sakes, no one in their right mind is up at that time of the morning......well other than dh, poor thing.

Anyhow after telling Molly she had to go back to sleep, she let me sleep until around 6:15am, and when I let her out, the sky was stunning again. I have posted the photos of those on my Skywatch Friday post, which will be up around 2:30pm today. I have never, ever seen a sky like this before, let me know what you think, you won't be disappointed.

So on Wednesday I got the rest of the grass cut. I even washed and cleaned the lawn tractor when I finished; the poor thing is collapsed in the garage suffering from shock over being washed!! It was a beautiful day with little to no humidity. I of course decided to finish off cutting the field after I watched Eastenders at 12:30pm. Which is all well and good but now I have sun burnt knees!!! I know who but me would get sun burnt knees??? I must say they are stinging. I normally wear pants when I cut the grass, but had my shorts on this time. I would take a photo of my knees, but seeing my knees once on this blog on this post, is scary enough for anyone!! Just try to visualize them being bright red!!

I call Staples to find out what's happening with my laptop and they have ordered a new motherboard for it???? They reckon there is nothing wrong with the charger??? Funny, when dh plugged in his Dell charger on my Dell laptop it charged no problem. Oh well, at least I know I won't be paying a penny for this. I just hope its not the start of a lot of problems with the computer, as it is only 18 months old.

If you are an animal lover, please read this story How anyone could be so cruel is beyond me?

I have a neat post done up for Friday....just a little teaser, it involves vinegar!!!

ALSO AGAIN A BIG, BIG THANK YOU FOR POPPING BY MY BLOG, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT I LOVE TO READ THEM, AS YOU ARE ALL A WEALTH OF INFORMATION.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More signs Fall is just around the corner........

Look who I found in my bird feeder:

How he could get anymore in his cheeks was beyond me!!! I do have a squirrel/chipmunk proof bird feeder as well!!

They have been combining the field across the road from me, beside the field where the horses are kept. It's ages since I have seen a combine harvester up close like that. There were two combines harvesting the same field.




Things are quiet around the Acreage, only because it has been so hot and humid. It has worn us both to a frazzle, but hopefully by the end of Tuesday night we should be over the worst, I hope!! So needless to say not much has been done around the place. I did get some more of the grass cut on Tuesday but still have a ways to go.

Should also mention I am not on the computer much as my laptop is in for repair. Actually there is nothing wrong with the laptop itself, it's just the charger, and as it is under warranty they insisted the whole thing went out for repair???

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gentle Giants.......

In the field across the road are these five beautiful horses.
(click on the photos to enlarge them and to see more detail)
Molly was all brave until we got close to them, and then she was having nothing to do with them, and cowered behind me.
There is an electric fence around the field, ask me how I know about it!!!!!! Yes I did touch it.





This is the view from the hill where the horses are and this is how much of our house we see.
The red barn in the back left of the photo is a beef farm, gosh those cows can stink something rotten. I don't know what they are feeding them but most nights those poor cows have really bad stomachs!!!

This is looking up towards the barn on the farm beside the field where the horses are.

If anyone knows what breed of horse they are, I would really appreciate knowing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Intervention.........oh no!!!

I led an intervention last Friday.......for those of you not in the know, an intervention is where you try to rescue/save someone. In my case it was a plant, an orchid plant to be precise. Here is the poor thing:

Now the saddest thing of all in this; it even has a sticker on it, saying "Please Water Me, with a smiley face." How sad is that?


My apologies for the terrible quality of the photos and the fact that blogger decided to turn the second one around? I feel the plant was moving around as it didn't want its true identity known, and honestly I don't blame it!!!! Now if a certain person is reading this and she knows who she is (LINDA!!!!) I have the plant, and you're not getting it back....LOL

It's been a horribly hot and humid weekend, and it has really taken its toll on me and dh, we are pooped with the heat. On Sunday ds came over with a window a/c unit that we have put in our bedroom, so at least it will be cool in there and we will be able to sleep. Even poor Molly doesn't have her usual pep in her step. Mind you I wouldn't either if I had to wear a fur coat in the middle of summer!!

I did manage to get some grass cut on Sunday which is good. Still have a lot to do yet, but the goal is to do a couple of hours each day. I hope to get around by the raspberry bushes cut by Monday evening. Dh got the electrics sorted out in the upstairs bathroom, so now the plug is always switched on. As before hand you had to have the light switched on for the plug to work??? We also now have a light and a fan in the shower, which is great. He also got the floor cut for the new hearth, but has to grind a stone to make the slate fit, but it was much too hot on Sunday to do that.

Fingers crossed it cools down this week, so I can get some work done around the house and in the garden.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's Flower - A sign of Fall?

I took these the other day on the way home from work. I always think of Sunflowers as a Fall flower, but their sunny faces look so summery, don't you think?

(click on the photos for more detail)
















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

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some photos of my drive to work and an issue with Molly.

You will need to click on these photos to see the detail. They were taken on my way to work. If you look carefully you will see the CN Tower which is downtown Toronto. I am around an hour and a half away from downtown Toronto when I took these photos. The view is spectacular, I would love to live there, but the properties are very, very expensive in that area.





Now I think this is a once in a lifetime photo, one which I am guessing you have never seen a Golden Moose in a garden....LOL It's a statue, just in case you're wondering.



Now the issue with Molly she has pooped in the attic twice now. She didn't ask to go out, she hadn't been inside all day, both times it happened when we were at home, so she is in and out all day. Any ideas?

Finished working the week and honestly I enjoyed it, it's not a hard job physically just mentally as you are using your brain, it's office work. Still I'll be glad to get the garden and the house ship shape again!!

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