Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another day out....

Tuesday we went to Orillia for a day out and went on a 2 1/4 hour cruise around Lake Couchiching

We went on the Island Princess and had a good time.



There were a number of lovely homes.




Can you see the reflection of the boat in the windows?
This house was for sale, here is the info on it.

I will post more of this trip another day, as I am tired, and it's our last night with my brother so want to spend time with him.

Great day out..........and the giveaway.

We took my brother up to Blue Mountain in Collingwood for a day out on Monday.  Dh has never been before, and me and my  brother hadn't been there for 30 years.  It's a big ski resort, but is still busy during the summer, with people hiking, mountain biking and just enjoying the area. 




There was a gondola ride up to the top of the mountain.  You could walk up the mountain, however as you know I am totally allergic to exercise and with temperatures in the low 40's with the humidity, onto the gondola we went!!!


Have to admit not keen on heights, but the view was stunning.

That's the Blue Mountain village at the bottom of the mountain, with Georgian Bay in the background.  It was quite hazy with the humidity.
Another view of the village.

This was one of the neat lifts that was used to carry mountain bikes to the top of the mountain.

We went to Firehall Pizza for lunch and it was really good.
Finally we saw this truck, thought our other brother would love it.

We were quite impressed with the place and it looks like a fun place to stay.  However we are not winter sports lovers; come to think of it, can't say we are summer sports lovers either!!

All in all we had a smashing day with good company.

If you haven't entered my blog giveaway, here is the link

Monday, August 30, 2010

My first ever Blog Giveaway!!!

I am having my first ever giveaway, pretty exciting eh!!!

For those of you who are regulars on my blog you know I have been busy with putting together a recipe book to raise funds for the church I attend.  The book arrived last week and in celebration of that I am giving away two copies of the book.


I did have help with certain things. One lady was an absolute dear in proofreading everything for me, and even input some of the recipes. As I soon discovered that although I have lived in Canada for 21 years, I still have a lot of British ways about me, in the way I write, and cook! Her husband did the artwork for the front of the book. Another guy did the original artwork for the dividers in the book. Two other ladies came up with the idea of the Liturgical Section, and between me, them and the Vicar completed that section.

Now to "win" one of these books is pretty simple:

  1. You MUST be a follower of my blog.
  2. I have to have a way of getting in touch with you.
  3. Tell me the name of your favourite recipe that you use over and over again.  If you have a link to it on your blog, all the better, but not a prerequisite.  Mind you remember that may encourage more people to pop by your blog!
  4. Oh, and you must comment on this post to enter.
The contest closes at 5pm (my time, 10pm in England, 2 pm on the west coast of Canada and the USA) on Monday September 6th, 2010.  I will post the winners names on Tuesday September 7th, 2010.  The winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email, then I will draw again.

**This contest is open to people all over the world.  Depending on who wins and where they live, I may end up sending the recipe book surface mail.......just a warning!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today's Flower and an announcement.....

This is a Pillar Clematis, that I got earlier in the year.  I have it growing in and up this rusty iron obolisk.  It is such an unusual clematis, for me as I normally grow the larger flower ones.  However I must say this is ever so pretty.









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

I am having a Giveaway on my blog starting tomorrow.  So please check back on Monday to see what it is all about!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Had a pretty good day on Friday......

It was a busy day, but a good busy day.  The weather was gorgeous on Friday, no humidity what so ever.  The temperatures were quite cool in the low 70's.  Infact when I was hanging out my first load of laundry (just after 7am) I had to put a fleece jacket on over my nightie as it was chilly!!

I got some cleaning done in the house.  Cleaned some windows, which was long overdue.

The kids and my brother came up around 3:30pm.  Ds has bought a new to him Lexus IS250 so they had to drop off my car, which ds has been using all this week.  It's a fancy dancy car; too many bells and whistles though for me.

We then went out for supper to East Side Mario's and had a lovely meal.  They all then went to the casino, and the old folk's (me and dh) came home.  The kids and my brother sound as though they have had a great week, busy with all sorts.  My brother comes to stay with us on Sunday.

Poor dh was called out at 1:30am on Friday morning, so he worked all night, but was home by 11am, and is now off for the next three weeks.  He spent part of the day doing some electrical work in the house before falling asleep in front of the tv around 2pm-ish.

I took a couple of photos of Molly.



No idea what she was looking at, probably squirrels.  Her allergies have been bad these last few days, not sure what has changed.  She isn't allergic to ragweed, so that's not it.

I know I owe you photos of the spare bedroom, just haven't had the time to take them yet.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thank goodness for Solpadeine......



For those of you who don't live in Britain it is a fantastic pain killer that I swear by.  We cannot get it in Canada as it contains a banned substance called paracetamol.  No idea why it is banned in Canada, but it is. 


On Wednesday night when I went to bed, I started to get muscle spasms in my leg and could feel the bottom of my back throbbing.  Luckily when my brother came over he brought a couple of boxes of Solpadeine with him, so I popped a couple of those to help me sleep.  When I woke up on Thursday morning, the spasms were still there, so took some more.


What is neat about Solpadeine is that you dissolve it in water and so it gets into your system faster.  For the British people reading this, don't panic I won't get addicted to them, as they do have an addictive quality about them.  I only take them when my back is bad or when I have one of my nasty headaches; and as I only have 64 pills in total I use them sparingly.  It gives me a break from using liquid Advil.  I can't take Tylenol as it doesn't do squat for me and Tylenol 2 or 3 kills my stomach for some reason?


No idea what I have done with my back this time; and it has been a while since it has given me problems.  I had a herniated disc operated on 12 years ago, so my back is my weak point, especially my lower back where I had the operation.  Every now and then though it flares up.  Normally it repairs itself after a good nights sleep, but this time a good nights sleep didn't help?


I wrote the above first thing on Thursday morning.  I decided to just get on with the day.  Got the rest of the grass cut on Thursday.  So that's it for at least a couple of days.  I managed to weed one of the flower gardens, and pulled the weeds out of the footpath by the front deck.  Pulled off a pile of leaves from the tomato plants, to encourage them to ripen!!

Got the linen closet shelves put up and filled it with things.  Really pleased with it, it's exactly what I wanted.


I found the blue "storage" basket on clearance at Michael's the other week.  It's perfect for there.  I have yet to decorate the bathroom.  I am going to wait until my brother leaves, and then paint it.  It's going to be the colour of the closet walls.

The bedroom closet is also complete.  I haven't taken a photo of it yet.  There is still the odd job to do in the bedroom, but nothing too exciting.  I will post photos tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Skywatch Friday

These were taken a couple of weeks ago, just never had a chance to post them.  It was a stunning sunset.








For more Skywatch Friday posts please click on the link

Crabapple Jelly and other things.....

It started to rain on Wednesday afternoon, so I went and picked some crab apples to make jelly.  I used this recipe  I found it was the simplest and pretty easy.


I didn't really make that much, but it's a start.  All the jars are spoken for, all that is left for us is the glass dish on the left!!  I am hoping to find time to make another batch on Thursday or Friday.

As always Wednesday was a busy day.  I have finally finished painting the closets.......I swear you would think I was painting all the Queens closets the amount of time it has taken!!  I put things away in the spare bedroom closet, so things are a little tidier in that room now.

I managed to get a lot of the ditch trimmed/whipper snippped.  Also managed to get covered head to toe in grass clippings.  I was pooped though by the time I had done that for 1 1/2 hours.

Also got a little grass cut after supper.  It's supposed to be a nice day on Thursday, so I hope to get a lot more done then.

Must say as I write this on Wednesday night I am pooped.  Hoping to have a few days off soon, as dh starts three weeks vacation on Saturday.  Until then though I'll just keep plodding on.

Also sold another 5 recipe books on Wednesday.  John, I never got back to you, but I have to sell the books to people from the church first.  If I order another batch of books, I will offer them to people outside of our area.  They will be $12 CDN plus postage.

I see I have 199 Followers now, I wonder who will be the 200th?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just another ordinary day......

Had a busy day on Tuesday.  I got a coat of paint on the trim in the bathroom closet.  When dh got home we put up the closet organizers in both of the closets.  I still have a couple more coats of paint to put on the trim in the bathroom closet,  but the painting is done in the spare bedroom closet, so I can start and put things away in the bedroom closet.


Dh still has to put the light fixtures up in the closets, and change the sockets and switch in the bedroom.  I still have some new trim to varnish.  It's funny these rooms were supposed to be quick jobs but one job seems to lead to another, which leads to another.

Fooled Molly.  I was upstairs painting so she followed me upstairs.  I then decided to have a shower, and figured I would bath her as well at the same time.  If I have my nightie on she won't come upstairs with me, as she figures she's going in the bath.  She didn't click this time, as I had my painting clothes on.  Needless to say she wasn't happy when she discovered I was going to bath her!!


I got the field cut, it's growing at a crazy rate!!!  Roll on the cooler weather when it stops growing!!!  Discovered that a couple of trees that I thought were crab apples are actually eating apples, and they are good.  So have to pick them, not sure about storing them though?  Will also try to fit in making apple jelly this week as well.

Make another big pan of mashed potatoes for supper on Tuesday night, using potatoes that had bad bits on them, or the skins weren't that great.  So we will pick away at those for supper through the week.

My plan of action on Wednesday is:

  1. Paint two coats on the trim and the floor in the linen closet
  2. Edge/whipper snip the front ditch and a few other places that ds missed.
  3. Load of laundry
  4. Put things away in the spare bedroom closet.
  5. Cut more grass.
  6. Tidy up a bit in the house.
I think that should keep me out of mischief for a while!!  I was just saying to dh the days are just flying past at the moment.  The nights are also drawing in.  We are having to put the lights on, on a night in the family room to see to read.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Well it's arrived and ahead of schedule.........

The Church recipe book arrived on Monday. So I spent part of the afternoon sorting out the orders and calling a couple of people who are going to deliver them to their respective church.   If you click on the photo you will see more detail of the churches.


This is one of the drawings we had done for the dividers.  We ended up selling 168 books.  I ordered an extra 32 books, which I hope to sell at the next church dinner.

I have burgundy Gladioli in the vase at the moment.

I am still painting closets.......they may be the smallest rooms in the house, but gosh they are taking forever to get done.

The weather has been miserable the last few days, but I managed to get some grass cut on Monday night.  It's all overgrown AGAIN, so it ALL needs to be cut AGAIN!!  So of course I am super busy.

Once again a big, big sorry for not popping by your blogs.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today's Flower........

More yellow flowers.  These ones grow to around five feet tall.  Not sure what their exact name is, but they are pretty.



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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Having the weekend off........

Got a busy weekend ahead of me/us, so other than my Today's Flower Post tomorrow, I won't be posting until Monday.

Enjoy your weekend, and see you on Monday!

Gill

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Funny for a Friday, as I have been busy.........

Just in case you need a laugh:



Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one; a reassurance to those who fly routinely in their jobs.


After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet,' which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics corrects the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.










Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.






By the way,UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.


















P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.


S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.


*


P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.


S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.


*


P: Something loose in cockpit.


S: Something tightened in cockpit.


*


P: Dead bugs on windshield.


S: Live bugs on back-order.


*


P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-feet-per-minute descent.


S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.


*


P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.


S: Evidence removed.


*


P: DME volume unbelievably loud.


S: DME volume set to more believable level..


*


P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick..


S: That's what friction locks are for.


*


P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.


S: IFF is always inoperative in OFF mode.


*


P: Suspected crack in windshield.


S: Suspect you're right.


*


P: Number 3 engine missing.


S: Engine found on right wing after brief search..


*


P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)


S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.


*


P: Target radar hums.


S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.


*


P: Mouse in cockpit.


S: Cat installed.


*


And the best one for last


*


P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.


S: Took hammer away from the midget.


(Sorry I haven't been around to your blogs I hope to pop by on the weekend, just crazy busy, as always!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nearly forgot to post.....

Wednesday was a super busy day in the garden.  Got a lot of grass cut including the field and Kamikaze Hill.  Ds popped by and helped me move a limb off a tree that had half fallen off.  Had a bonfire.  Dug up some potatoes, still a million more plants to dig up.

Talked to my neighbour above us, who is trying to sell their house; it's a bungalow with 39 acres; was $699,000, now $649,000.  They haven't had much luck, not helped by a real estate agent who is useless!!! 

Made a couple of Egg Pie's for supper.  I didn't take a photo sorry, but all it is, is hard boiled eggs topped with cheese sauce and mashed potatoes on the top of it.  Super simple and I made two one for supper and one for the freezer.

Thursday will be another busy day for me, as ds is popping by again to do some whipper snipping for me.  I have all the nail holes in the trim to fill in, and hopefully I may get the first coat of paint on the trim in the closet.  I also have laundry to do, plus I had hoped to get some more potatoes dug up.

After lunch I have to go to the "big" city to run some errands, and then up to my dad's as he is picking my brother up from the airport.  He's visiting from Britain for a couple of weeks, so looking forward to seeing him.  It's been a couple of years since I last saw him, although we do talk on a regular basis.  So busy, busy again on Thursday!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A bit of this, and a bit of that........

Just got an email with my latest $5 e-card for Amazon, from Swagbucks.  That's $110 I have deposited in that account, and as of 5pm on Tuesday I only need another 45 swagbucks before I get my next one, so that should happen probably late Wednesday early Thursday.  I average between $10 and $15 a month getting Amazon e-cards.  I am saving them up, not sure for what yet though.

I have mentioned before we live reasonably close to a cattle operation, I think they have up to 3,000 cattle there.  Well on Tuesday I must say the smell was worse than normal.  So as they collect the manure in tanks, I am guessing they were cleaning them out, gosh it stunk.

I went out Tuesday afternoon to town.  I had some books to donate to the library.  Wanted to pick up some trim for the closet, yes dh is finally making a start on it, poor thing has been working crazy hours recently.  It was my quilt club, after this month only one more block to go.  Picked up this pattern from Fig Tree Quilts.

Had fish sticks/fingers, hash browns and Heinz Baked Beans for supper on Tuesday night.  I haven't bought fish sticks in ages.  It's one of those things we ate frequently when the kids were at home, but since they left home we never buy them.  Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed them. 

Had a cheese and tomato sandwich for my lunch on Tuesday with a tomato from the garden.  Funny thing is I am not a fan of ground pepper, but I adore it on tomatoes?  Not sure why?


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

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It all started with a container of gravy.

I saw that container of gravy in the freezer on Sunday, when I was pulling out the raspberries out of the freezer for my jam.  Made a mental note to use that container when I next made shepherd's pie.


Monday lunchtime, I remembered about the gravy, so pulled it out of the freezer, along with a pound of ground beef/mince.  Figured I would make mince and mashed potatoes, as I had left over mashed potato from the day before.


Started to cook the mince and thought I'd add plenty of veggies to it.  So popped out to the garden to see what was going on with the zucchini, only to discover that there were three mammoth ones and a smaller one.  So cut one of the large ones up to put into the mince.  However there was too much, so ended up shredding the rest of it to freeze.  Still have two more mammoth ones and the smaller one to deal with another day!!


After adding all the veggies, it was a big pot of mince and gravy; and when I looked at how many mashed potatoes I had, I knew there wasn't enough.  So went outside and got the rest of the potatoes I dug up the other day and peeled and cooked them. 


I ended up with a meal of mince and potatoes for supper, plus there was enough left over for two shepherd's pie's for the freezer.  Not bad from a container of gravy and a pound of ground beef/mince.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jam, Jelly and Church

On Sunday I was determined to make grape jelly and raspberry jam.  I followed the recipe from here for the grape jelly and although I was concerned that the jelly wasn't going to set, it has set.  I had 5 cups of grape juice, and added 4 cups of sugar, as I prefer a sweeter jelly; it made 6, 1/2 pints (250ml), plus the small glass dish.  It tastes fine, and I will try some on toast for my breakfast. 


I made two batches of raspberry jam; so got 7 pint (500ml) jars and 3, 1/2 pint (250ml) jars from them.  I was surprised it made that much, but also glad, as I have had hardly any raspberries this year growing on my bushes.

On Sunday for supper we had "roast" chicken, mashed potatoes, and fried zucchini and onions.  All the veggies were from our garden.  I "roasted" the chicken in the crockpot.  I love cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot, as it makes for a very moist chicken.  I place the whole chicken in the crockpot, add whatever seasoning you want, and cook it on low for at least 8 to 10 hours.  You don't need to add water as there is plenty in the chicken.  It just falls of the bone as its that tender.

I was greeter at church on Sunday.  As our Vicar is on vacation for the month of August, we had a replacement vicar do the service.  It was quite funny as I have a feeling this guy was retired, so relished the opportunity of giving a long winded sermon from the pulpit!!!  Which is all well and good normally, but we don't have air conditioning in the church and as it was close to 40 oC with the humidity, I wasn't the only one who was wilting in the heat.  Then, he totally confused the heck out of us with the order of service; I was totally lost at one point.  So I have decided to skip services for the rest of this month, until it cools down a bit.  It's no fun sitting in a church in that heat, with no fans or a/c.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Today's Flower...

I don't know the name of this flower but it is pretty.  It didn't flower last year, so maybe its a biennial?  Does anyone know it's name?





It has these very large leaves.
For more of Today's Flower posts, please click on this http://flowersfromtoday.blogspot.com/

All about food, Sausage Risotto - A one pot microwave meal

This is an excellent recipe if you have extra zucchini/courgettes and it cooks in the microwave in the one pot.

Sausage Risotto:

1lb Sausage (I use English Bangers)
8 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
12 oz (350g) long-grain rice
2 tbsp. tomato puree
2 cups (600 ml) boiling chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


Place the sausages on a plate and prick thoroughly with a fork.  Cook on high power for 5 - 6 minutes, turning and re-arranging the sausages once.
Place the chopped bacon in a large bowl and cook for 3 minutes, stirring once.  Add the onion and celery.  Cook on high for 4 minutes, stirring once.
Add the zucchini, rice, tomato puree, chicken stock, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, blending well.  Cover and cook on high for 13 minutes, stirring twice. 
Leave to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, cut the sausages into bite size pieces. 
Stir sausages and parsley into rice mixture.  Serve at once.
This dish is excellent to freeze for another day.  If you want a vegetarian meal, leave out the sausages and bacon and add more veggies.  Oh and use veggie stock instead of the chicken stock.

You can use spicy sausages if you like food with a "kick," we don't so I like the traditional English Bangers, we get from Zehrs, they are the PC brand.

I picked the grapes last night, before the birds ate them all.  Over here on The Witch's Island is a how too on making grape jelly, which I want to attempt on Sunday.

I also got a few more raspberries, I hope to also make some raspberry jam on Sunday, finally!!
I picked my onions on Saturday night.  Am I supposed to do something with them before I bring them indoors?
All my potato plants are dead, so I MUST dig them up this next week.  I dug these up to keep us going through the week.

That was all the gardening I managed to get done on Saturday, as I was busy in the house.