Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More from the Home Show.......

There were a number of gardening organizations at the Home show as it was also a garden show.  One of the things we saw was a company called Bufco (The Backyard Urban Farm Co.)  They were promoting the benefits of raised bed gardening.  Now to be honest with you it's a great idea, saves the back.  I decided to check out their website and once I got over the shock of how much they charge for their raised beds, I checked out the rest of their site.  You can sign up for a newsletter to get free tips etc.  I would like to add at least one raised bed this year....we'll see.

There was a flower arrangement competition going on as well.  All the following photos are arrangements that won ribbons.  Now between me and you in some cases I have no idea why.  Obviously the judges idea of good arrangements and mine differ........but I guess that's what makes the world an interesting place to live!!!

This one was super tall and that was part of the category.

"Three's a Charm," so they all had to have three of something.


This one was inspired by lightening?
I love Terrariums, and this one is a beauty.  Here is a link on how to make your own.
This one was in the "Lucky Duck," category?
These are wooden roses, the lady said they were made of birch and they got them from the States.  They were also scented and actually very realistic.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Father and Son

Last week we had a family of Downy Woodpecker's at the bird feeder.  Mother, Father and son.  I wasn't able to take a photo with all three of them in it, but did manage to get one of the Father and son.  I just wish it was in focus; tree is in focus though!!!


Also the other week a Pileated Woodpecker stopped by on our hydro pole.  It was huge and I have never seen one of those before.  I wasn't able to take a photo of it before it flew away.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Batch cooking........

I will be working for the next two weeks and one thing I do not like doing is coming home from work and having to start on preparing a meal, so on Sunday I spent part of the day doing a batch cook so there would be meals ready for our supper and lunches.

I used two pounds of ground beef, one pound of ground pork and the pastie filling was already made up in the freezer.

From that I made a Baked Bean Lasagna, the recipe is here.  I did change it up slightly by only adding one can of baked beans and adding a can of chopped tomatoes in garlic and onion.  A Shepherd's Pie, two meals of Meat Pasta Sauce and the rest of the ground beef was sauteed with onion, ready to make tacos.  The ground pork was divided between the two pies.  In one there is onion and red pepper chopped and Italian Seasoning.  I also sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese on the top of the pie.  The other was onion and dried sage.  I would have put grated apple in as well but I didn't have any apples.

I made a batch of tomato soup, which we had for our lunch on Sunday and the rest we will both have for our lunches.  There should be left overs from supper that we will be able to take for our lunches.  I put a roast of beef in the crock pot to make Cola Beef which should last us a couple of meals and while I had the oven on I roasted a big tray of potatoes and a tray of cauliflower.  I LOVE roasted cauliflower.  All you do is break up the cauliflower into florets.  Toss them in some olive oil with salt and pepper and some Parmesan cheese and cook at 400 oF for around 30 minutes.  There will be enough veggies for a couple of meals.  The five Yorkshire Cornish Pasties, will do for two meals and I will put the spare one in dh's mini crock pot with some gravy for his lunch one day, along with some bread and butter.

So by my calculations I made at least part or all for 11 separate suppers and there will be leftovers for lunches as well.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

At the Home Show in Mississauga.

We went to the Home Show at the International Centre in Mississauga on Saturday.  I bought tickets on Wagjag or Groupon for half price, so instead if it costing $15 each to get in, I paid $15 for the two of us.  We had walked around the place in a couple of hours as there wasn't too much to see; but it was well worth us going as we got a couple of things and saw a number of things we would like to add to the house in the future.

First let me apologise for the photos,  I swear none are in focus!!!  Anyhow one thing I have always wanted it a cupola on top of the garage or shed.   This one was gorgeous, as were there copper gutters.  The company name was Custom Aluminum Inc. and here is a link to their website, which isn't very good, they need to perk it up a lot!!

We were blinded with this place and all their LED trees.  Although pretty I am not sure who on earth would want one of these especially at that price?  Funny thing though is on their business card is the cell phone number for them in China!!!  They sell all sorts of LED lights and here is a link to their website, they are in Brampton, Ontario.
Please excuse how out of focus this next photo is, but I had to show you these.  All these sculptures are free standing stones just placed on one another. 

I honestly did not believe the guy, so I made him take one apart and I felt the stone so it is real, and he didn't put holes in them.  I have no idea how he did it, but the way he balances one on top of the other is marvelous.  The guy came from Vancouver.
There was a display of Edward Michell paintings.  So what you say, his work is stunning and what he used in each of his pieces is really neat.

"Michell breathes dark life into each work by incorporating into his palette such raw natural ingredients as: tar, crushed diamonds natural ochres, gold and silver leaf, and paints made from blueberries, raspberries, beets, grass and leaves. He transforms elements of the land into works of art that portray his perspective of the world as both dynamic and optimistic."

I was not allowed to take photos of his work and honestly the photos on his website do not do his paintings justice, but please click on this link to take a look, they were really lovely.

Now the best part of the day for me was when I got a really good freebie.  Do you remember back in September of last year I bought a steam cleaner at another home show?  Here is the post about it.  No amount of washing gets the pads super clean, so when I saw the person selling the same machine as mine at the same price I asked him in front of other people if he would sell me some new pads.  He said fine they were $20 for three.  Anyhow you know me, can't keep my mouth shut, so I started talking to the folks around him about mine and how I love it and it's good for all these things etc.  He sold three to people who were iffy about buying one because of what I said and he gave me my pads for free!!!!

I still swear by the machine and think it was totally worth it's money.  We also paid $20 for a pair of ratchet handle choppers, which was a super price as well.  Plus Kelloggs All-Bran Cranberries & Clusters cereal was being promoted, so I have breakfast now for the next couple of days!!  I have more to show you, but will do that later in the week.

Finally has anyone had any experience with Zulily  I would love to order a couple of things from there but don't know anything about them?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Other websites/links

I was on the Farrow and Ball site yesterday entering a competition..........I would love to win some of their wall paper!!  I came across this Facebook "site" Poppy, Vintage and Stitched  Her work is wonderful, and I wanted to share with you all.

I finally got out of the house on Friday as I had to go grocery shopping.  While I was in Shelburne I called into a new store that's opened, called Serendipity Antiques and Boutique  It's a pretty little store and an old bookcase/dresser caught my eye.  If you click on the link you will see it about half way down the page, the mahogany one.  Although I like it something is holding me back, and I think it's the style.  I don't think it's rustic enough for our house.

One of the owners said in the bio that she worked at Chica Boom in Caledon.  I have been in there and there were some nice things.  I think I may go back in there to have a look for a nice rug for our family room, as ours has seen better days.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bloody Hydro bill........

Can you believe they have put up the delivery rates on our Hydro bill.  I got my hydro bill in for December 28th through to January 29th and the total bill came to $129.78.  It's broken down like this:

Electricity used:
On Peak - $14.77
Mid Peak - $9.32
Off Peak - $30.20
Total: $54.29 

Delivery: $64.19

Regulatory Charges: $4.65

Debt Retirement Charges: $4.48

HST (13% taxes) $16.59

Total: $144.20
 Minus $14.42  (10% discount for Ontario Clean Energy Benefit)

Grand Total: $129.78

As you can see I get charged more for delivery than hydro I use??  It just doesn't make any bloody sense.  As for me cutting back, I have no idea where?  At least it's getting lighter on a night so we don't put the lights on as much. I haven't used the dishwasher since before Christmas.  If I use the clothes dryer once a month I am doing well.  I try and have supper made by 5pm before peak rates.  Have as much as possible turned off.  Just not sure what else to do?

This week's "Home of the Week," looks better from the outside than the inside if you ask me?  Very pricey area and the $3.7 million price tag reflects that.  The inside of the house, feels so cold to me?

This week's "Condo of the Week," is part of a converted church.  I personally have never fancied living in a church; it just doesn't seem right to me?  I was surprised though at how bright and airy the place seems.  Make sure you look closely at the fridge in photo 5.  That is why I don't like stainless steel appliances, the fingermarks!!!  $720,000 seems like the going rate for that area, though I think you could get nicer properties for cheaper in the same area.

Saw this and thought it was amusing:


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A couple of follow ups to posts/stories...

Back in January I went to see the surgeon about my hand.  I posted about it here.  Her advise back then was to take it easy with my hand and baby it.  At the time I said that was easier said than done, but I have tried the best I can and a couple of months down the road I can say it isn't as sore, but it will never be right.

It's going to be a case of having to live with it.  Sanding and painting the baseboards last week made it sore.  It's going to be tested to the limit over the next couple of weeks as I am working so all the typing will aggravate it no doubt.  I don't splint it every night now, and only splint it now when it's really bothering me.

I have a lump on the bottom of my middle finger next to the palm on my right hand, it is a Ganglion Cyst.  I am going to go and get that drained next month as every time I grip something it rubs against the lump and it hurts like crazy.  Other than that I won't be having anything else done with my hand (s) and will just have to live with them.

Remember this post about the trouble I was having with a magazine subscription?  Well I finally got it all sorted out.  It involved me having to call back another couple of times, despite the "Organ Grinder" (aka the supervisor) promising me she would definitely call me back by the Monday at the latest!!!  She gave me my refund, after they charged me again for the subscription and added an extra four months onto our year subscription.  I still think that their customer service stinks but at least its all over with now.

I posted here about buying dh the mini crock-pot that he could take to work.  He took it yesterday with a can of chunky soup in it and he said it worked great.  It takes around an hour and a half to warm through.  The only problem dh has is that he is working between two buildings which are in different streets so he can't plug it in until he knows for sure which building he will be in at lunch time.  I made a pot of vegetable soup yesterday, so put that in his crock pot today.

So there you are.  Otherwise I am hibernating due to the cold weather and nothing exciting is happening around here, which is the way I like it!!!

How about you anything exciting happening in your neck of the woods?

Oh, I was talking to my mother yesterday and they cut their grass for the first time!!!!  At this point I would love to see anything that resembled bloody grass, as everything is covered in the white stuff here!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our Old Basement......

is the total opposite to the new basement.  As I explained yesterday we have two basements due to the fact a family room extension was added to the house in 1974.  Due to the thickness of the original stone walls in the house, they didn't knock through to the extension, so we have two totally separate basements.  

The old basement was an earthen floor, but was concreted over in 1954; they marked the date in the floor.  This is what it looks like when you open the door to the basement.  The stairs are original and its all dusty down there with cobwebs and the odd mouse!!  Dh is wanting to drywall all this area, just to clean it up and make it even brighter.  We however have to do some repair work to the staircase going upstairs as it squeaks like crazy.  So don't want to drywall that yet.

We have done a little bit of work down there as we blocked up two windows and installed two new windows.  We found a little bit of dry rot so that was all torn out and the coal shoots were also blocked up.  We had to get someone in to do all that and that cost us around $5,000.  Which in a way sucks as it's work other than the windows you don't see or honestly appreciate.  It has however made a huge difference, as the old windows were blocked up with insulation as they were that old and drafty.  So now we have daylight in there.  Plus it was mouse central down there and we had the holes blocked up so they can't get it..........mind you they are still getting in somewhere, we now think under the front deck.

I am in the process of cleaning up this side of the basement.  Nearly all those boxes that you can see is Christmas decorations.  Would you believe I had a huge clean out a few years ago and donated a big pile of Christmas stuff.  I need to go through it all and see if I can get rid of more.  That is the water softener in the back of the photo, by the window.  My old washer and dryer is still down there.  I am planning on putting an ad on Kijiji and getting rid of them by advertising them for free.  They are as old as the hills but work fine.

This is the other side of the basement and that is the oil furnace.  To the right of the furnace just outside of the photo is our oil tank.  I hate going on this side as it's icky.  I would love to whitewash all the walls as that would brighten up the whole basement.  One thing though the basement is dry and does not smell musty, partly because we have a dehumidifier going down there most of the time.  It has made a huge difference and well worth the investment.
I made a start on the baby quilt over the weekend and have got a lot of it cut out.  I decided to do make a Double Four Patch pattern.  Don't know why as I will be cursing it up and down trying to get all my corners matched!!!
I have to have this completed by the middle of March, so need to get on with it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Basement

We were busy down the new basement this weekend, as we are getting close to finishing it...........I know for those of you who have been with me since the beginning this has been an ongoing project since 2010, check out this post

We have two basements in this house.  The old basement which is part of the older part of the house, and the new basement which is under the family room extension.

Now to be fair we stripped the new basement down to it's bare bones and even replaced the two windows and patio doors as it's a walk out basement.  Everything has been replaced as nothing was worth saving.  When we moved into the house, this basement was cold, smelled damp and we even found some black mold.  

We re-insulated the whole place.  Used blu-wood for all the studs.  We had new stairs made in pine as the other ones stunk of dog pee.  Divided the basement into two, with one side being a laundry room and a main room which I think I may use as a sewing room, as it's nice and cool down there in Summer. 

Dh is now back in the laundry room as we have to put up the drop ceiling and main light in there and then we have a back splash to install.

Here are some photos though of the main room.

This photo is taken from the back of the room looking towards the stairs.  I have stained them, but haven't varnished them as I can't open the windows and doors to ventilate the place.  Dd made the piece of artwork.  To the left you can see a glass door, that is the door to the laundry room.  There is a window in the laundry room.  I do have a question for someone though.  The glass door is frosted, and has paint on the frosting, and I am not sure how to get the paint off, as it's in the grooves of the frosting any ideas? (By the way the factory put the paint on, not me!!)

Although you can't see it behind the art work wall is a closet.

If you live in an old house, one thing that there is never enough of, is closet space, so dh made sure we put in a double closet. I have made good use of the space, and cleaned up quite a bit in the old basement.  Yes those are some of the kids toys, including the blue clear box which has the Brio train set in it.
We are looking towards the patio doors.  We have done everything ourselves other than putting down the ceramic tiles and we paid a guy to do that.  
This is looking from the laundry room door towards the other end of the room.  The bottom of the stairs is to the left of the photo.  As you can see we have a fair bit of light in there and as I painted it a pale beige so it keeps it bright.  I am so pleased with the flooring it was well worth the price; $500 for the main room.

We didn't have an exact budget for this as we did it as we had money.  I would like to think we didn't spend more than $10,000 for it all, and that would include the new windows and patio door, and the new stairs.  Regardless it was well worth the money and we have more usable space.



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wrong end of the stick........

Have you ever had one of those conversations where you have no idea what on earth is going on?

Last week I called into a friends house to drop off some magazines.  She was upset and in tears as she had just got a bill for over $2,400 for grass cutting/lawn maintenance for last year.  So I said that seems awfully high how much is he charging per week.  She said $200 and he also uses their equipment and gas/petrol and it takes him 3 hours.

This happened on the third day I had the headache so I said I'd think about the situation and get back to her.  I told dh all about it and he agreed with me that this guy was ripping them off and we couldn't understand why on earth he was just billing them now?

Fast forward to Monday and I called her to say would she be willing to pay $50 a week as I was going to call the schools and churches to see if any teenagers would do it for her.  This is how the conversation went:

Friend: "But I only pay $20 when the guy uses our equipment and $30 when he brings his own, plus it only takes him an hour."

Me: :But I thought you said he charged you $200 and it takes three hours?"

Friend: "That's the grass at the farm." (They have a farm and rent our the house to a lady who does no yard work, and rent the land to another farmer)

Me: "Oh you never said that?"

Friend: "Did I not?"

Me: "No, and did you speak to your son about all of this."

Friend: "Yes and he said not to worry as he had paid him."

Me: "So why was he giving you a bill now?"

Friend: "Because son told him too so I can submit it to the accountants."

So here's me thinking it was the house, and the bill wasn't expected and she had to pay it.  Meanwhile it was for the farm and the son paid it (as he should, as he is inheriting it when they die).  It also turns out he only charges $120  a week.  I still have no idea why she was so upset about all of this and why she couldn't sleep for two days because she had got this bill, especially when it had written on it PAID IN FULL?

I guess when you only get half a story you think the worst?  However it was very confusing......

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Two yummy recipes......

Found a new blog/website called Six Sisters Stuff  There are lots of great recipes on there and I decided to make two of them for our supper on Friday night.

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) reduced-sodium condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Additional shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions

  • Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the soup, broth, milk, cream, tomatoes and seasonings. Heat through, stirring frequently. Drain tortellini; carefully add to soup. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle each serving with additional cheese if desired. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).



Now here is my version of the recipe:


Ingredients

  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese and spinach ravioli
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) reduced-sodium condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 can Alymers Accents Tomatoes (click on link to see what I mean)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Additional shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
Cook ravioli as per package instructions.  In a large saucepan add soup, chicken broth, milk, half and half, tomatoes, and seasonings, and heat through.  mix cornstarch with the 1/4 cup of milk and stir into the soup.  Add cooked pasta and cheese.

This will be good minus the pasta.  Also would be good with gnocchi.


Easy Parmesan Knots Recipe


Easy Parmesan Knots Recipe:
(Recipe from Taste Of Home)


Ingredients:

1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Directions:

Cut each biscuit into thirds. Roll each piece into a 3-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under. Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add the warm knots and gently toss to coat. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Isn't this the cutest......

I picked up this mini crockpot for dh for work.  He does not have access to a lunch room, but does have an office, so I thought this would made a nice change from sandwiches every day.  I got if from Home Hardware and it cost $19.99 + 13% taxes.


I'll let you know if he likes it next week.

On sale at Home Hardware this week are these cleaning products on for $8.47 for the three pack which is a good price.  They are on page 6 of the flyer.

This week's "Home of the Week," is different. A rather expensive different to my mind at $1.9 million, but I am guessing all those exotic finishes push up the price.The house has obviously been on the market since last Fall so I am guessing I'm not the only one that thinks its too pricey?  Do like the floors on the main floor; otherwise not my cup of tea.

With this week's "Condo of the Week," you are right downtown Toronto in the thick of things.  Though it's actually a townhouse instead of a condo, but you do pay monthly maintenance fees.  At $1 million it's pretty pricey, but I'd rather pay that than the $1.9 million for the house above.  Not a huge fan of all those concrete walls, they always seem cold to me.  The only reason I would live there though would be location, as it's close to the lake.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

That's it, I'm moving back to the city, I've bloody well had enough....

Now granted I am very hormonal at the moment but puleeeezzzeee no more!!!

I went down to the city to see our bundle of joy pictured below and was running a couple of errands while there.  Normally on the way home I heave a sigh of relief and feel very relaxed the further north I go.  I did not have that feeling yesterday and couldn't understand why......

I get home and there is a message on the answering machine from my mother, so I thought I'd give her a call back to see what she wanted.  Picked up the phone to discover it wasn't working.  Had the same issue with it the day before, so called dh (using my cell phone) and got him to call the home phone (don't know why I didn't just do it?) and it wouldn't work.  So remove all phones from the jacks and plug them back in, still no phones.

Call Bell to see if there is a problem with the line and the lady says no and tries to schedule an appointment for a tech guy to come out.  As you know if it's their problem they pay, but if its your problem they make you pay.  After explaining a number of times I only wanted to know if there was a problem with the line and NO I did not want a technician to come out, it was determined there wasn't a problem with the line.

Dh came home and to cut a long story short, which included digging out a tunnel of snow so he could crawl under the deck to check the jack that goes into the house; he discovered that some animal; a bloody mouse or mice had chewed through the phone line!!!  I ask you how many of you have had  bloody mice chew through their phone line????

Anyhow to cut another long story short, he repaired the line........dh is very handy thank goodness and the phone still isn't working.  So we figure maybe Bell has to reset the line or something.  So I call Bell back and maybe an hour if that has passed since I last called and would you like to know what she said:

THERE'S A PROBLEM IN YOUR AREA AND THE TECHNICIANS ARE WORKING ON IT.

I don't know who I want to throttle more the wildlife or bloody Bell......

I said to dh I am moving back to the city as at least then the bloody mice wouldn't chew through everything.........he said they have mice in the city, so could do it there {SIGH}  The phone is now working; but I'm still sick of the wildlife and Bell!

Look who's already one month old:

Now as I pointed out to Our little Princess  mother, she will not thank you for not wetting down her hair before taking this photo!!!  The little bracelets are all to do with religious ceremonies that they have done.  Nothing major, just ceremonies done at home.  She has such long legs doesn't she? And yes the sofa is orange!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Strawberry-Banana Bread.....

Got this recipe from the March 2013 edition of Woman's Day Magazine and it's a keeper.

Strawberry-Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose/plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking/bicarb soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
2 large ripe bananas
1 lb strawberries, chopped
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 350 oF  Grease and line a 9 x 13 in. baking dish.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.

2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Add the granulated sugar, oil, vanilla and lemon zest and whisk to combine.  Mash the bananas, (you should get about 1 cup) and stir into the egg mixture.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.  Fold in the strawberries and walnuts. 

3. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and bake until a wooden pick inserted into the centre comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Spread the icing over the warm cake, then let cool completely.

I didn't have walnuts or lemon zest so I didn't use either.  You don't need to use the electric mixer for this, it can be all done by hand.  I takes around 47 minutes to cook in a regular oven.
This makes a big pan and would be ideal to feed a crowd.  The recipe although in the magazine is from The Casserole Queens and here is a link to their site

They also featured a wreath made of cupcake liners which is really neat.

  Also here is a step by step on how to make it here

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Busy Monday

I spent part of Monday morning filling and sanding the nail holes in the baseboard in the basement, then painting them. I have another coat to do today and that's another job taken care off in the basement.

In the afternoon I sewed this months block of the month for my quilting club and it is called Whirlpool.  I found this a fiddly block and YOU MUST follow the pressing instructions to the letter, otherwise you're seams may not join correctly.  Although the photo makes the block look blue it is purple.
I have five blocks done so far and will be picking up the instructions for the 6th one on Thursday:
With some of the blocks I am going to make a large table runner for our kitchen table, as I don't like the finishing kit that they are offering.

While I was sewing I was listening the a cd called Aquarius by the Danish group Aqua.  Do you remember them?  They were big in the late 1990'a to the early 2000.




I love the way Lene sings this song:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another little treasure and a thought?

Picked this up at the charity shop silent auction for $12.  It's a lovely little chair and other than the seat is perfect.  Also you can never have enough chairs in the house can you?
I think the seat will be easy enough to replace, it's a dh job though!!!
As I am assuming it will involve some sort of power tool to cut out the wood in the shape of the seat.  Some sort of drill thingy to drill the various holes and a hammer to hammer those stud things in?

As I have said before when God was handing out the ability to use power and hand tools I was else where......probably in the shopping aisle!!!

I posted another book review over on my book review blog if you are interested?  I have one more to read for this month.

One of the things about the book I just read made me think that I haven't done enough with my life and I need to do more.  More of what I have no idea, but more.  It's something I am going to think about and ponder over the next few days.  I'll let you know what I come up with.  If anyone else has read "Firefly Island," did you come up with the same thought?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

After the storm, the calm......

Saturday was a lovely day nice and sunny, but cold.  So after dh dug us out AGAIN, I popped out to get my groceries and drop a couple of books off at the library.  I posted a couple of book reviews also on my book review blog.

No Frills had ham's on sale for a $1 per pound so I was able to pick up a smaller one for just under $7.   Managed to only spend $48.85, and had coupon savings of $9.92.  My monthly total however is $156.57 and my monthly savings is $50.81.  I had set myself a goal of only spending $250 this month, which I think is going to be hard looking at how much I have spent so far.  Do you set yourself a monthly goal on how much you spend on groceries, cleaning products and personal products.

Thought I'd share a couple of photos looking out of our family room at around 5pm on Saturday night. Nice to see the nights a starting to get a bit lighter.




Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow, snow and more snow

We got a bit of snow on Friday, in fact we got a lot of snow.  I plowed out the driveway twice, dh plowed the driveway out twice and I am guessing by Saturday morning (I am writing this Friday night) it'll be to do again.......bloody weather!!!  We must have got a foot or more of snow?  Not sure someone in our area will confirm that I am guessing?

Anyway here are some photos:







Thought this was interesting: Food Labeling and What You Should Know

Courtesy of: Infographic Journal

Friday, February 8, 2013

I haven't made these in years.......

Thursday afternoon I pulled out a dozen cupcakes/sponge buns out of the freezer.  They were the plain vanilla ones.  I had some homemade lemon curd leftover in the fridge so cut out a chunk of the cupcake and put some lemon curd in there, replaced the cake.  Melted some chocolate and put that on top along with some snow flake sprinkles I found.

So when you bite into them you will get the lemony surprise.

I had some leftover chocolate, so I added some rice krispie cereal to it and make chocolate rice krispie buns.  I haven't made them in years.
I had a lemon jello/jelly and a fat free vanilla pudding mix in the pantry, so I decided to make wibbly wobbly pudding with raspberries and a vanilla pudding mix topping.
I used the one small bag of raspberries I picked from the garden and there is enough for us for four days.

I am trying to clean out our pantry of things that have been laying around for a while.

I'll pass again on this week's "Home of the Week."  I don't know that area but $2.4 million seems awful pricey for a semi.  Maybe that's the going price for that location?  I would love to see what the attached house looks like from the outside and what this house looks like amongst the rest of the street.  From what little I saw from the photos the other houses look like more older houses.  So no doubt this one sticks out like a sore thumb?

I WOULD NOT be lighting that fire as if it blows back on those while walls what a mess it would be.  In fact I wouldn't dare do anything in that house in case I spilt something.  Having everything white doesn't make it a home to live in, but maybe I am messy so and so?

Is anyone willing to pay $7,200 a month to rent this week's "Condo of the Week?"  The condo is nice but is it $7,200 a month nice?  Nope.  However there must be a market out there for this sort of thing, otherwise they wouldn't advertise it.

One store I love to go to when in England is Lakeland Plastics  If it wasn't for the ridiculously high fees they charge for shipping I would order from them regularly.  They do however have a great selection of recipes on there for you to try out and here is the link.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Organ Grinder, Monkey and pennies

You will have no doubt heard of this saying before:


Speak to the organ grinder not the monkey


Which translates to "Talk to the boss not the subordinate."

Well for the past couple of weeks I have been speaking to a couple of "monkey's" and yesterday I had finally had enough and decided to speak to the "Organ Grinder."  Want to know why?  Settle down with a cup of tea/coffee and I'll re-tell this sorry tale!!

Back in September of 2012 I get a flyer in the mail for a buy one get one free for a major magazine.  Now as I already subscribe to this magazine anyway, figured I would take advantage of this deal and give the free one to dd as part of her Christmas gift.  I mail it back to the magazine along with my credit card details.


Meanwhile, my credit card was compromised so the credit card company issued me with a new credit card.  I get a letter in the mail in October from the magazine letting me know they were unable to process my order as the credit card wouldn't go through.  So I mail the letter back as requested with my updated info.

At Christmas I mention to dd about the magazine and she says she hasn't received it yet?  I tell her I will follow up and to cut a long story short forgot about it until January 24th, 2013.  

I call customer service to find out what's going on, and the guy tells me they couldn't put the payment through because of my credit card.  So I tell him yes I know but I sent in new payment details and that the magazine had charged my credit card at the end of October.  So he told me to fax a copy of my credit card statement along with a cover letter telling them what's what.  I asked whom to address it too and he said Customer Service.

I waited a week and no one called me, so I called back in and spoke to a lady who told me that there was no sign of my fax and I should have addressed it to someone as no one would look at it???  So I got dh to re-fax it to this lady and called back to make sure they had received it. Lo and behold the guy who answered the phone was the guy I had talked to initially.  I made him go and pick up the fax and he said he would look into it.

I decided to call him again yesterday to see what was going on as I hadn't heard from him.  So I call him and get him on the phone and he has no idea who I am and so I have to go through the story AGAIN???  He looks up my account and tells me that my payment went through on January 31st and everything was fine?  I say what payment and make him hold on until I go online and look at my credit card account and sure enough they have charged me again?

I of course asked him why and he had no idea?  He asked me to re-fax the original paperwork along with a copy of what had been charged at the end of January so he could look into it.  I hung up the phone and then fiddled on trying to print out the transaction detail and rewriting another cover sheet for the fax.

After lunch I was doing my ironing and stewing over the conversation I had, had with this guy when all of a sudden it came to me.  If they are claiming that they didn't receive payment in October as my credit card wouldn't go through and I had told them I had a new credit card, how on earth were they able to charge my new credit card on January 31st unless they had my new number???  Also why did I have too provide more information when I had already done it twice before?

So that is when I decided enough of the monkey's now onto the Organ Grinder.  Now it took me two phone calls but I finally got to talk to the Organ Grinder who also thought it was mighty strange about my credit card and also thought there was no need for me to re fax everything through for the third time.

She told me she would get back to me by Monday of next week at the latest.........stay tuned for what happens next.


I was out and about on Wednesday morning and it seems that each store/location has their own way of dealing with this, which makes the whole thing very confusing if you ask me.  For the Canadians out there are you having trouble figuring out what each store does?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rotten stinking headache.......

I have had a headache for the past two days.  No idea why.  I was in bed before 7pm last night to see if I could sleep it off.  Woke up around 6 am this  morning and it is feeling a bit better.  I had ran out of liquid Advil, so will head out today to get some.  They are my drug of choice when I get a headache.

Suffice to say I haven't visited anyone's blogs, so if you have anything exciting happening, please let me know as I don't think I will be on the Internet much again today, as I am still so tired from this headache.

Hopefully normal blogging will resume tomorrow!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Look at the great deal I picked up on Saturday....

Yes it does look as though someone has cut all the flowers of these plants and indeed they have as they were dead.  However these are all either tulip or hyacinth bulbs and for the price I couldn't turn them down.  I have stuck them in the basement to die back and will plant them out in the Spring when the ground is warm.  Though I was just thinking about it, for you gardeners out there, should I wait until Fall?

Thanks for all your comments yesterday.  I wasn't angry, mainly bemused that someone could come up with such a dreadful comment without fully knowing the facts?

Sunday was a great day.  We never left the house all day.  Dh finished off the trim down the basement and stairs.  Now I have to fill in all the nail holes and sand and stain the wood trim that is inserted in between the tiles and wood flooring.  

I stained the stairs last week and the smell was horrible, not helped by not being able to open the windows or doors because it was so cold.  I am going to wait to varnish the stairs until I can open the windows and doors.

We had a cheats version of cabbage rolls for supper, the recipe is here.

If you have a moment you should pop by Cindy's as Lexus has just had puppies and they are gorgeous.  Her doggies have their own blog here.  For those of you who are mad about cats, Jane's 13 cats have their own blog here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oh dear me some people.

Well it seems not everyone was in agreement with us taking Millie back to the shelter, check out the original post here.  It seems Abgurl in Alberta Canada thinks I am both cruel and insensitive.

This is what they had to say about me:

"What a shame- I just started to read your blog but because of what you have just disclosed regarding first adopting this poor animal( who clearly needed a loving family) and then chose to return it( akin to taking an item back to the store because of a flaw or such),I am extremely dismayed that someone would do this. Yes the animal certainly had medical issues and yet you did not see this when you first chose the animal??? How in the world did you miss some of the obvious ones that you speak of??? Had this been a child that you were choosing to adopt and once you got "it" home, it displayed a problem, would you have tried to return them???

What you did was cruel and insensitive and I hope to heavens that you never never have the opportunity to do this to another helpless animal that might be relying on us humans for care and love( and that it sounds like this poor animal never had in its prior life-you could have made a difference) And if my tirade makes you feel any type of remorse, good. Shame Shame on you

Abgurl in Alberta Canada"


Abgurl of course doesn't have a blog or an email address where I could privately let them know what's what, so I guess I will have to respond to her message here.

You wanted to know:  "How in the world did you miss some of the obvious ones that you speak of???"

So lets start at the head.

Cataracts:  I for one am not familiar with cataracts in either human or animal.  I don't know of anyone with them and had no personal experience with them.  Plus without my glasses on I can't see things clearly close up anyway, so it would have been the case of the blind leading the blind here!

Enamel missing on her teeth:  When you first bring an older dog home that you have no previous history about and even though they seem very good natured; I don't think it's very prudent to try and see what's going on in their mouth until you have formed some bond or trust with them?  Now that's just me, maybe you are comfortable with inspecting a dogs teeth/mouth when you first meet them?

Heart Murmur: This is not an obvious one, and only a qualified vet would be able to determine this one.

Hips/spine:  Now some of these issues are obvious to the naked eye, but some are not.  There were signs that something wasn't right, which included how she was sitting.  She infact squatted not actually sat on her bum.  We mentioned that to the shelter but it was dismissed as nothing.  

When we were at the shelter both times it was busy with lots of things going on, which not only distracted you, but the animal.  We didn't bring her home until the Monday night, so we didn't have too long with her before it was bed time.  On the Tuesday morning I was out and about with her and on Tuesday afternoon she slept a lot as she was tired.  By Wednesday when we had more time together it was very obvious there was something going on with her back end.  I had previously booked an appointment with our vet for the Friday but moved it up to that evening, as we were concerned.  It was at that appointment all these issues were pointed out to us.  At that point both ourselves and our vet who knows us very well thought it was in the dogs best interest to return it to the shelter.

"first adopting this poor animal( who clearly needed a loving family) and then chose to return it( akin to taking an item back to the store because of a flaw or such),I am extremely dismayed that someone would do this."

If the shelter had bothered to disclose these issues about the dog from the beginning, we would have never even considered taking her home.  Both my husband and I talked with the coordinator at the shelter at length about what we had gone through with our prior dog Molly.  If you care to read back through my blog history you will see what we did to make Molly's life as bearable as possible despite all the allergies she had.  At no time did we say we were willing to take on a animal with a lot of health issues, infact we said the exact opposite.

From what we knew the shelter takes their animals when they are brought into the shelter to their own vet for a check up to see if there are any problems.  It took our vet all of 15 minutes tops to figure out all these problems; so I am guessing their vet would have been able to do the same?  However I don't know that for a fact, so I can't assume that.  They however did confirm that the vet had looked at her, as they were not 100% sure that she had been spayed and they didn't want to open her up to see, so if she did go onto heat that we were to bring her back and they would spay her for us.  Our vet confirmed she felt as scar where it should be when a dog is spayed.

If we were not serious about adopting an animal and did this as a distraction to keep me amused for a few days (I know this is not what you wrote), why on earth would I have gone out and spent close to $100 on supplies for this animal, including two beds so she would have a comfy place to sleep, toys and other things?  Also why on earth would we spend $90 getting her checked out at our vets?  I don't think that is a sign of someone who is cruel or insensitive?

Again if you had bothered to read through the rest of my blog you will see we have adopted an animal from a shelter before and gave Molly a good life and she was loved dearly.

So before you go judging me Abgurl in Alberta Canada, try and at least get your facts right first.......

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Haven't listened to these songs in a while.......

Heard this song on Friday, thought it was catchy:



Not sure I have shared this video with you.  I would have loved to be at this concert:



Finally haven't heard this song in a long while either:



Was anyone else a big fan of the tv show Ally McBeal?  Maybe you'll remember this: